30th anniversary of the WWW: What does the next 30 years hold?

Reports | Technology

To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, over 11,000 survey respondents from across Europe, including 1,000 in the UK, shared what the Web has made possible for them today, and what they hope it will make possible for future generations.

Whilst the web has delivered many ‘firsts’, from the first website (info.cern.ch – 1990) and the first online takeaway order (pizza -1994), to the first Internet connection in space (Cisco – 2010), people’s ambitions for the Internet’s future overwhelmingly highlight what it can make possible for society.

Enabling ‘better access to healthcare’ tops the list of UK citizen aspirations for the future of the Internet (51%), followed by enabling ‘better access to education’ (48%).

Based on a survey of respondents across 13 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the findings showcase the enormous impact that the World Wide Web, as the largest application on the internet, has had in connecting people and information, over the last 30 years.

Key findings

  • The last 30 years: The number one thing the internet has made possible for Brits is to use the web to ‘stay in touch with family and friends’ (67%), followed by ‘keeping up to date and informed’ (63%) and ‘entertainment’ (62%). Almost a quarter (22%) of Brits also believe on the of the most important things the Internet has done is given everyone a voice
  • The next 30 years: Better access to healthcare is the number one thing Brits want the internet to make possible over the next 30 years (51%) followed by better access to education (48%). UK citizens also believe there are more opportunities to be had, with almost a third (32%) stating they would like to see the Internet become a platform for social and political change.
  • Most popular impact: ‘Connecting people’ (46%), ‘new ways of learning’ (36%) and ‘enhanced communication’ (30%) are seen as the top three ways in which the web has benefited society to-date according to UK citizens
  • We can’t live without it: A third of Brits can’t imagine being able to function in their personal lives without the internet.

Wendy Mars, President, Cisco EMEAR said: “We live in a hyper-connected world. By 2022, we are going to see more traffic crossing global networks than in the entire history of the Internet combined. This traffic comes from all of us, and increasingly, our machines. The survey shows the impact that the World Wide Web and the Internet has had on our lives, and what people expect for the future. To realize that potential, organisations – be it in healthcare, education, or any other industry – must be able to understand the power of connections and securely extract value from them. In addition, they need to manage the complexity that comes with the explosion of connecting people, places, ideas and things across a network.”

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