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Berners-Lee project aims to ensure 'One Web'

"Father of the Web" Tim Berners-Lee launches the World Wide Web Foundation with the mission of spreading the Web to developing countries.

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee on Sunday unveiled the World Wide Web Foundation, an initiative to spread the Web to developing countries and maintain its openness.

World Wide Web Foundation lauch
Tim Berners-Lee and Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation's CEO, at launch of the World Wide Web Foundation. World Wide Web Foundation

The organization, launched at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., is funded initially by a $5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In a speech, Berners-Lee--a proponent of a "nondiscriminatory Internet"--said the creation of the foundation is necessary to ensure that the Web serves humanity by connecting people.

An academic program called the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) helps drive technology innovation. But the Web has largely been made by and for the developed world.

The Web Foundation will seek to foster collaboration among business leaders, technologists, government, academia, and nongovernmental organizations. The mission is to:

  • advance One Web that is free and open
  • expand the Web's capability and robustness
  • extend the Web's benefits to all people on the planet

In his speech, Berners-Lee said the foundation is meant to address the social aspects of the Web to promote adoption around the world.

"But you cannot ethically turn your attention to developing it without also listening to those people who don't use the Web at all, or who could use it, if only it were different in some way. (I have read that 80 percent of the world does not have access to the Web.) The Web has been largely designed by the developed world, for the developed world. But it must be much more inclusive in order to be of greater value to us all," he said.