Although the origins of the Internet can be traced to the 1960s with the founding of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) by the US Department of Defense, the medium's significance for the film industry began with the proliferation of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. Before the development of the Web, Internet use was limited to text-based communication by a relatively small number of people over slow modem connections. Since the late 1990s, however, high-speed access through Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) and cable modems into US homes has opened up possibilities for promoting and distributing digitized films and videos over the Internet to a mass audience.

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