The IT Law Wiki


A nation's physical infrastructure consists of a broad array of systems and facilities that house and transport people and goods and provide services. Among other things, this infrastructure includes transportation networks, including roads, airports, rail, and mass transit; housing; federal buildings and facilities; and postal and telecommunications services. These systems and facilities do not exist in isolation: decisions about where to build or expand roads affect decisions about housing and vice versa, and, in turn, these decisions affect the need for and location of public facilities and communications and energy services.

United States[]

Historically, in the United States the federal government has supported the construction of much of this infrastructure and helped to ensure the safety of services it provides. It builds, owns, operates, and maintains federal infrastructure such as federal buildings, dams, and waterways; financially assists state and local governments to build, own, operate, and maintain facilities such as roads, transit systems, and airports; and regulates public works. State and local governments and the private sector also play significant roles in planning, developing, and maintaining this infrastructure.

Information technology[]

"Physical infrastructure contains the basic processing and communications components of an information system. These components comprise the computing and communications platforms or hardware (and associated low-level systems software) of computers, peripherals, switching systems, telephones, and information processing devices, together with the communications media, such as fiber, cable, and electromagnetic spectrum. The physical connectivity and layout of the network and component systems are described in the physical infrastructure layer. These would include specialized devices as well as standard, general-purpose, widely available information appliances."[1]