How is data transferred over the internet?

Post date: 2020-09-22 13:19:47
Views: 8
Is there a relatively simple but also detailed breakdown of how data is transferred over the internet? It's not just a series of tubes, right?

For example, if I send a text message from one person in the US to another person in, say, Europe, presumably the following happens:

*A sensor in my cell phone records the letters I'm pressing in my phone and turns it into data
*The software in my phone takes the digital data of the message I've written (perhaps encrypting it first if it's via an app like Whatsapp), and sends it to a cell phone tower.
*The cell phone tower connects to the Internet, which is a series of interconnected computers across the world.
*Within the internet, the data gets sent through a transatlantic fiber optic cable.
*In Europe, the data gets sent to a Wifi router in someone's home.
*The wifi sends the data to a cell phone
*The software on the cell phone decrypts the data and then displays it by lighting up some very, very small LCD lights.

I'd imagine what I just wrote above is very simplistic at times, skipping key steps all over the place, and wrong at other times. And of course the key points would be different depending on where/what the data is coming from, going to, and I'm sure much more. Does every step happen at the speed of light? Famously the internet is NOT just a series of tubes... but how does it work?

I'm interested in the physical infrastructure as much as what's happening digitally - computer servers, cell towers, data cables, server farms, satellites (e.g. Starlink and similar, to the extent that is or could be real in the years to come) -- that sort of thing.

If not an explain-like-I'm-5 explanation, I'd love an ELI in high school explanation! Perhaps a Wired article or similar -- something readable but comprehensive.
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