The University of Southampton

ECS Professor attends net neutrality summit

Published: 
16 March 2011
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor of Computer Science in ECS-Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, is today taking part in a UK Government summit on net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the important principle that there should be no favouritism for connecting to certain sites online. Sir Tim, inventor of the World Wide Web, has been a strong supporter of net neutrality, online privacy and the value of freely open data since he first founded the Web, and is now working through his World Wide Web Foundation to increase the number of people worldwide who are able to access the Web.

Speaking last October to the Nokia World Conference in London, Sir Tim commented: “We assume that when we look up a web address and the domain name to get that page that you can get any page because that's how it's always been … but a lot of companies would love to limit that. If they're trying to sell you movies streamed online, they'd like to slow down your access to other people's movies, so you'd come back to them. If they sell you telephone services, they'd love to block voice-over-internet connections, or just slow it down so you decide it's not a very good technology and go and use theirs instead."

Today’s summit is being chaired by Government Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, and will include representatives from BT, Sky and Virgin Media, along with other leading internet service providers. The companies will outline their vision of an industry code of practice for the management of internet traffic. According to BBC Technology Editor Rory Cellan-Jones, the summit could be crucial in shaping the way the internet develops in the UK over the coming decade. ___

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a Founder Director of the Web Science Trust. To find out about PhD opportunities in Web Science see the opportunities in our Doctoral Training Centre for Web Science: http://webscience.ecs.soton.ac.uk/dtc/.

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