St. David’s Day is one of the four national patron saints days celebrated in the British Isles, along with St. George’s Day, St. Andrew’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Today, we celebrate the nation of Wales.
With Engage Web being based just a few miles from the Welsh border, and some Welsh blood among our staff, it seems fitting that we mark this national day with some facts about the nation and the internet. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about the worldwide web of Wales, but probably should:
1. A major element of the internet was invented by a Welshman
Have you ever wondered how the internet is able to transmit such huge quantities of data? How sites like Google are able to go through billions of pages looking for a search term and give you a response in seconds?
A large part of this is down to ‘packet switching’, which involves breaking large data down into several smaller ‘packets’. The concept is now the primary basis for not just the internet, but all computer networks.
However, its invention long predates the internet. It was created through the work of Welshman Donald Davies in 1965, and he is credited with coming up with its name too.
If you want another Welsh internet innovation, then next time you use a video calling tool like Skype, think about where you would be without something to speak into. The microphone is another Welsh invention, credited to David Edward Hughes.
2. There is a Welsh top level domain
Being part of the UK, most Welsh websites will use the .co.uk or .com domain, but since 2014, they have had their own.
Today, website URLs can end with either .cymru or .wales, both of which are approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and show a website to be Welsh.
One website proudly using the .wales domain is that of Table Tennis Wales.
3. North Wales has the slowest internet in the UK
Despite Wales’ contribution to, and advancement of, the internet, it is the poorest part of the UK to use it in.
A report last year showed that seven of the ten slowest areas of connection in the UK were in Wales, and the north of the country was home to four of the slowest twenty.
It seems Wales has plenty to both boast about and work on when it comes to the internet, but let’s raise a pint of Brains to the nation today and celebrate its positive points when it comes to our everyday browsing.