The internet doesn't have an open or close time, but does access really keep going all day long? The answer, it turns out, may depend on where you live.

There are over 4 billion IP addresses in the world. So, for two months, researchers at the University of Southern California pinged just under a billion of those addresses every 11 minutes. Then, they started looking for patterns in the response rates over time.

What they found is that for some areas of the world, especially in the U.S. and parts of Europe, the truism that the internet never closes really does hold. This was particularly true for countries with a high GDP. In countries with lower GDPs, however, especially in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America, they were able to identify a "sleep" schedule.

You can see the results in the chronological map GIF posted above. The USC research team, led by information sciences professor John Heidemann, will be presenting the results of the study at the upcoming ACM Internet Measurements Conference.

Map: John Heidemann / USC

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