US proposals could create closed web

Proposed US legislation could create closed-off areas of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium, has warned.

Proposed US legislation could create closed-off areas of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium, has warned.

One of the challenges facing the web is that the network companies which have invested heavily in creating an open, connected infrastructure, want a share of the revenue coming in from the businesses that use this infrastructure.

Berners-Lee said this was nowhere more apparent than with the distribution of video content online.

Although Berners-Lee said he had no problems with commercial forces driving the web forward, the founder of the web said he was concerned by moves in the US to curb internet neutrality.

“There is an effort by some companies in the US to get legislation changed so that if they provide enough bandwidth to the home for video, they would have the right to degrade the service to people who have not paid,” he said.

The change to the law would prevent users from accessing TV stations over the internet unless the station had paid for the right to distribute the video content over the internet.

Berners-Lee said, “This is not the internet model. I hope the US will come to the right decision based on the groundswell of opinion for internet neutrality.

“If it does not, then people with high-speed connections will find they cannot get the TV stations they want.”

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