WWW inventor favours mobiles to widen web access
Thursday, 31 March 2011, 18:29 Hrs
Hyderabad: Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), Thursday called for use of mobile technology to make the web available to a large number of people in countries with low levels of Internet penetration like India. He underlined the need to teach people to build websites which work well on mobile phones and said the entrepreneurs can build an economy using this technology. "This will also help in improving education, healthcare and economic status of people," he told reporters during the 20th International World Wide Web Conference here. Berners-Lee, who is also the director of World Wide Web Foundation, which funds and coordinates efforts to further the potential of the web, said the foundation had also taken up some projects to teach people to build websites which work on mobile phones. He said while India may have its share of problems, no country was perfect. He pointed out that even in the US and several so-called developed countries, there were many towns with either no Internet connection or no choice of Internet providers. On the idea of voice-based search for people who are uneducated, he said the foundation was already working on the technology. "Somebody has to provide a gateway running a programme which uses special web pages to do the dialogue. It is only the start to what could be an important section of web to get people who have no access to the web at the moment become part of the Internet society," he said. Earlier, delivering the keynote address, Berners-Lee emphasised on the need to consider access to the Internet on par with any other civil right. Finland has already accepted access to the Internet as a human right. The Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) said it was important to progress towards the idea of the Internet as a neutral media that was not controlled by large corporates or governments. "Today, Egypt is communicating online with the people. The common man is in a position to give feedback to the government," he said, referring to the recent revolution in the north African country. Berners-Lee said the issue of Internet governance and a mechanism to control international cyber crime was complicated. "There is a problem of jurisdiction. There is a problem of coordination among law enforcement services across different countries. Which aspect of Internet should be governed by what sort of international organisation. Currently, there is a lot of discussion going on whether it should be done through countries or independently," he said.