Berners-Lee warns of 'walled gardens' for mobile Internet

“The Web is an open platform on which you build other things,” he said. “That’s how you get this innovation. The Web is universal: you can run it on any hardware, on any operating system, it can be used by people of different languages…It’s a sandbox where people can [play and] exercise their creativity. It’s very important to keep the Web universal as we merge the Internet with mobile.”

The title of his talk was “Escaping the Walled Garden: Growing the Mobile Web with Open Standards.” The “walled garden” is the metaphor that describes today’s cable TV and cellular data networks, where subscribers can only use devices authorized by the carrier, and can only access content and services authorized by the carrier, the exact opposite of the World Wide Web running over the IP-based Internet, which cell phone users access from their home and work PCs.

“People have seen the benefits of open platforms,” he said. “They have seen what the open Web is like. There’s a huge understanding of its importance.”

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