Free Internet Access for Everyone?

Wednesday 15 September 2010

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, today called for free access to the internet for everyone on a global scale.

Speaking at the Nokia World conference in London he said, “I would like to see people enrolled in a cheap data plan by default. I would like them to get it (the internet) for free.”

At the moment, only one-fifth of the world’s population has access to the web.

Sir Tim said the increasing number of mobile networks around the world meant that it could now be possible to connect everyone.
He said that if everyone had a chance to access the Internet it could allow people to “create their own communities and share their own information” about health, agriculture and business.

“Not being a part of the information society is a really important thing.”

He said that he even a low-bandwidth connection offered for free via a mobile phone could make a difference.

At the moment, he said, connections were too expensive and were often taxed by governments.

Sir Tim also suggested that mobile network providers could offer the free connections on the basis that people would become more familiar with the technology and would then be wiling to pay for more expensive, higher-bandwidth mobile services in the future.

He admitted that when he first created the web, it would have been “hubris” to suggest that everyone had access to it. But, he said, there was now a compelling argument for its benefits.

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