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World Wide Web turns 15

07 May, 2008
By Allison Orr

On 30 April 1993 Cern, the lab where the World Wide Web was developed, put the web in the public domain.  While the web had been up and running since 1989, it is the latter date that is the most important anniversary for the web, as it was on this date that it was ensured that the world would have a single system for accessing the Internet, as on this date the directors at Cern signed a document which said the technology could be used by anyone free of charge.

According to an ABC article, the decision to open up the web to universal access was not unanimous among Cern bosses.  Competing systems of accessing information on the Internet at the time, such as Gopher, put a price on their technology.  However, it was agreed at Cern that the web was going to be very big and that the best thing to do was to give it away.  If this decision hadn’t been taken, the Web would not have evolved into the global phenomenon it is today.

On the 15th anniversary, the BBC has interviewed some of the leading figures in the web community, including the British inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, who says that "we have only started to explore the possibilities [of the Web]," and that it was "still in its infancy".

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