An enterprise private network
is a computer network
A computer network, often simply referred to as a network, is a collection of hardware components and computers interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information....
built by a business to interconnect its various company sites (such as production sites, offices and shops) in order to share computer resources.
Beginning with the digitalisation of telecommunication networks, started in the 1970s in the USA by AT&T, and propelled by the growth in computer systems availability and demands, private networks have been built for decades without the need to append the term private
to them. The networks were operated over telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...
networks and, as for voice communications, a certain amount of security and secrecy was expected and delivered.
But with the Internet in the 1990s came a new type of network, virtual private network
A virtual private network is a network that uses primarily public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or traveling users access to a central organizational network....
s, built over this public infrastructure, using encryption to protect the data traffic from eaves-dropping. So the enterprise networks are now commonly referred to enterprise private networks
in order to clarify that these are private networks, in contrast to public networks.