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When Internet was limited to large research, educational, and scientific organizations, a centralized INOC (maintained by BBN) managed the operations of the Internet. With the expansion of the Internet to the common user and the introduction of service providers and Internet access to areas all over the globe, it was no longer possible for a centralized INOC or other group to control and maintain the operations of the Internet. The centralized INOC idea was dropped and replaced by the idea of distributed INOCs, in the form of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and tier-1 ISPs.
Hundreds of IXPs work by providing a peer environment to the ISPs where the traffic between ISP borders is routed. These IXPs provide the physical infrastructure comprised of routers, switches, and other support equipment. They are the basis for traffic exchange between different ISPs operating 24/7.
Tier-1 ISPs, acting as the core of the Internet, have INOCs that route and control the traffic between lower-tier ISPs. Whether commercial or community-owned, all INOCs do the following: