Tim Berners-Lee Warns About a Tiered Internet

tim berners lee headshotTim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, recently spoke at a conference on the future of the web and warned that a two-tiered Internet like the one being proposed by the US telecom industry could lead to a “dark period” and eliminate the openness and democratization of the web. In essence, a two-tiered Internet would make broadband providers the gatekeepers to faster, higher priority networks – leaving the rest of the world who can’t pay up in the slow lane. “What’s very important from my point of view is that there is one web,” says Berners-Lee. “Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring.”

Broadband providers argue that with the increase of IP video and voice distribution on their networks their infrastructure is or will soon be overburdened, thus a tiered network needs to be put in place. But in truth, all these networks really need to do is update their systems to be on par with advanced networks like South Korea’s broadband convergence network (BcN) where customers are getting Internet connection speeds at 50-100 megabits per second (Mbps).

Sounds to me that broadband providers are looking for an easy out and another way to charge consumers more for mediocre services. Thankfully, though, there’s already legislation being introduced to guarantee net neutrality – lets hope it passes.

Filed in: Broadband

  • Rensul

    Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the Internet or father of the WWW???


  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    From the openning line in Wikipedia’s Tim Berners-Lee entry:

    Sir Timothy “Tim” John Berners-Lee, KBE, FRS (TimBL or TBL) (born June 8, 1955 in London) is the inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development.

    I look at the WWW and the Internet as being synonymous. But I can see how that would be taken as a misinterpretation of the true definition.

    From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

    World Wide Web: a part of the Internet designed to allow easier navigation of the network through the use of graphical user interfaces and hypertext links between different addresses — called also Web

    UPDATE: I went ahead and made the edit to the original post :)