Tim Berners-Lee, the man attributed to the creation of the internet, gave a speech at an MIT symposium and shared his two decades worth of internet knowledge with the crowd. He spoke about a wide variety of issues, from net neutrality, which he is supportive of, to mobile web access.
Berners-Lee’s words concerning web access raised a couple of eyebrows, and definitely raised the interest of this writer.
“Access to the Web is now a human right” he continues, “It’s possible to live without the Web. It’s not possible to live without water. But if you’ve got water, then the difference between somebody who is connected to the Web and is part of the information society, and someone who (is not) is growing bigger and bigger.”
Berners-Lee’s quote certainly adds an interesting thought to how we perceive the world wide web. Has the web manifested to such a point that we believe it to be a need in our society? This led me to think of my life, and where I would be without access to the internet. It was a pretty scary exercise.
His quote also brings to mind the net neutrality debate. It strikes to the very heart of the matter, exposing the debate between the opposing sides. If web access is a right, then should providers be allowed to control it as they see fit, or should regulation be put into to place to allow our right to remain unfettered?
Along with his comparisons to water, Berners-Lee stated how ISPs should have less control over how users access the web. He also warned of mobile apps, and how they should be “web apps” which are accessed, allowing the open web to stay relevant.
About Tim Berners-Lee: The inventor of the World Wide Web. Now with the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he directs the W3 Consortium, an open forum of companies and organisations whose objectives are to realise the full potential of the Web.