Governments must work to ensure global access to the Internet by 2030 in order to bridge the digital divide and better hold technology companies accountable, he writes (Tim Berners-LeeTim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, in Post New on the occasion of the thirty-second anniversary of the Internet.
The inventor of the World Wide Web wrote in a blog co-authored by Rosemary Leith, the co-founder of the Web Foundation: Governments need to pass effective laws governing technology and hold companies accountable for creating responsible products and services.
The blog states that too many young people remain excluded and unable to use the web to share their talents and ideas, and there is a missed opportunity for new ideas and innovations that could serve humanity for every young person who has no internet connection.
The widening of the digital divide became a sharp focus during the coronavirus pandemic, as people tried to work and learn from home, often using imperfect internet connections.
According to the Pew Research Center, Only two-thirds of people living in rural America have broad access, compared to 79 percent of people living in suburbs.
According to UNICEF, only the top third of people under the age of 25 have an internet connection at home, leaving 2.2 billion young people without the stable access they need to learn online.
There is a need to protect young people online from abuse and misinformation, which threatens their participation and can force them off the platforms altogether.
This is especially true for those who are disproportionately targeted on the basis of race, religion, gender, and abilities.
The inventor of the World Wide Web calls for Internet access to be recognized as a fundamental right, and says the costs of making sure every young person is connected are within reach.
The web can be made accessible to every young person on Earth by financing network infrastructure, subsidies, and supporting community networks.
A4AI, an initiative of the Web Foundation, found that $ 428 billion in additional investment over ten years provides everyone with a high-quality Internet connection.
Providing universal broadband access over the next 10 years brings about $ 8.7 trillion in direct economic benefits, according toNew analysis by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.