The worldwide Net is actually a complex web of smaller regional
networks.  To understand it, picture a modern road network of trans-
continental superhighways connecting large cities.  From these large cities
come smaller freeways and parkways to link together small towns, whose
residents travel on slower, narrow residential ways.

Once, only people who studied or worked at an institution directly tied to the Net could connect to the world. Today, though, an ever-growing number of "public-access" systems provide access for everybody. These systems can now be found in several states, and there are a couple of sites that can provide access across the country.