In a sense, the internet has always existed. It just used to take the form of libraries or word of mouth without formally-defined protocols. Human communication has always been carefree and decentralised, based on loose agreements of protocols and shared understandings. When it was only spoken, messages were passed between people by that means, and those things that people cared to repeat or listen to were propagated most widely. When we started writing books, the best books were copied, distributed and read. Now that we have the Internet, that same pattern is proceeding. It's just like the writing of books and repeating of stories and news, only now the medium has changed. The Internet is a natural outgrowth of human communication, one more step in that journey.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - Of course it's faster now.
PPS - And further-reaching.