Wednesday, May 24, 2006

C|net : Berners-Lee calls for Net neutrality

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, has called for clear separation between Internet access and Internet content.
Speaking at the World Wide Web conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning, Berners-Lee gave his views on the growing battle over Net neutrality.

"It's better and more efficient for us all if we have a separate market where we get our connectivity, and a separate market where we get our content. Information is what I use to make all my decisions. Not just what to buy, but how to vote," Berners-Lee told journalists.

"There is an effort by some companies in the U.S. to change this. There's an attempt to get to a situation where if I want to watch a TV station across the Internet, that TV station must have paid to transmit to me."

Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet content should be treated equally by broadband providers without any kind of discrimination. It has become a hot political topic this year, especially in the U.S., amid fears that telephone companies may start blocking some Web sites or charge users extra to access them.

Companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been lobbying U.S. politicians to introduce laws that would make Net neutrality mandatory. These moves have been opposed by broadband providers and some hardware manufacturers.

You can see various views to the net neutrality issue here and here and here and here and here and a few more opinions here.

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