Tim Berners-Lee original author


Tim Berners-Lee, original author of many of the basic World Wide Web protocols, speaks on network neutrality at a conference in Edinburgh:

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. 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.

One of the moves in this debate is a certain amount of back-and-forth as to what the status quo is. Neutrality partisans portray themselves as trying to block a new initiative from the telecom companies. Neutrality opponents portray themselves as trying to block a new regulatory initiative. In the abstract, there’s a case to be made for both characterizations of the situation, but it’s hard to miss the fact that almost all (or maybe liberaly all — I’m not quite sure how to do a precise head count) of the internet’s technical pioneers see neutrality as preserving the longstanding rules of the road.