In everyday life one often comes across the word ‘infrastructure’. Do you know what this word means? There isn’t only one infrastructure definition; there are many definitions of the word infrastructure. One such definition is the basic structure of a company or an organization. The word infrastructure is rarely used as a noun.
The other definition of infrastructure is that it is the aggregate of all those capital equipment and basic facilities which are very much needed for a society or enterprise to function. The IT infrastructure definition encompasses hardware as well as software. In the IT (information technology) sector, the IT infrastructure definition is: the physical hardware which is used for connecting the users to the computers and the software which is used for the purpose of receiving, managing and sending the signals which are to be transmitted. Infrastructures such as flyovers, bridges, water supply, power grids, roads, etc denote the technical structures which are essential for the proper functioning of a society.
When viewed functionally, the infrastructure definition would be something that facilitates the production of services and goods. For example roads are important because they help in transporting raw materials to the factory and also help in distributing them to the market when the finished goods are produced.
In some other context infrastructure may also include hospitals, schools and various other basic social services. If you look at the word in the military context then the term refers to the buildings or other permanent installations which are constructed for the purpose of supporting, helping in operation and redeployment of military forces.
If you thought that these are the only definitions of infrastructure then you are wrong, because this term can be looked at from the IT or information technology point of view too. In the context of internet and information technology, infrastructure can be used to describe the physical hardware which connects the computers to their users. This means that all items such as phone lines, satellites, cable television lines, antennas, aggregators, routers, repeaters and various other devices can also be termed as infrastructure, from the IT point of view of course.
Thus we see that the word infrastructure has a lot of meanings and depending on how it is used, i.e. in which context, its meaning changes. If you are unsure about how to use the word then you can look up the meaning in the dictionary and even read some sentences with this word in it, you’ll get a better idea.