Internet founder calls for free access worldwide

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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London, Sept.16 (ANI): The inventor of the Internet has called for everyone to have access to his creation for free.

Tim Berners-Lee said that he would like to see everybody given a low-bandwidth connection "by default".

He said the web could be instrumental in giving people access to critical services such as healthcare.

Currently, he said, just one-fifth of the world's population has access to the web.What about the other 80%?" he asked the audience at the Nokia World conference in London.

The BBC further quoted him, as saying: "I would like to see people enrolled in a cheap data plan by default. I would like them to get it for free."

Sir Tim said the rise in mobile networks around the world meant there was now an opportunity to connect everyone.

"What about these people who have a signal but are not part of the web, who are not part of the information society?" he said.

"I initially assumed you should get them water first, you should get them healthcare and then it is the luxury of getting the web," he said.

"But it is not actually like that. The web can be pretty instrumental in getting them access to healthcare."

He said access to the web could allow people to "create their own communities and share their own information" about health, agriculture and business.

At the moment, he said, connections were too expensive and were often taxed by governments. He suggested that network providers could offer the free connections on the basis that people would become more affluent in the future and would then be wiling to pay for more expensive, higher-bandwidth mobile services.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of the body, recently told BBC News that access to information should be a "universal human right". (ANI)

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