By Badamasi Aliyu Abdullahi
Today is World Internet Day. Access to the Internet is a basic human right according to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which passed a non-binding resolution in June that condemns countries that intentionally take away or disrupt its citizens’ internet access.
47 years ago the first website in the world went live on 29 October 1969. The first letters ever transmitted across the prodigal internet, which consisted of two computers, were “ L ” and “ O ”. This was as far as they got before the Net crashed , and they had to reboot to get things in running order again.
Every year 29th October is set aside to celebrate this colossal achievement in technology. The celebration is a culmination of computing and communication technology and its impact in business, economy, education and other parts of our lives.
The Internet came to life few months after Neil Armstrong came back from the moon in 1969. It is a phenomenal invention and is now everywhere. People today access the Internet from mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and more.
Also it is connected to our cameras and televisions. Wireless Fidelity or Wi-Fi easy accessibility is increasing at a fast pace and now Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is underway and promises to be amazingly better than Wi-Fi.
The popularity of Internet came from the fact that it outranked other technological inventions in reaching out to the people. It took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. The radio took 38 years to reach 50 million audience. Television took 13 years to reach 50 million viewers. The phenomenal Internet took only 4 years to reach 50 million users.
Internet is one of the technological wonders that ever happened to us. It is the innovation that has completely changed our lives and a breakthrough which has sprang many concepts, ideas, products, services and movement around the globe that transformed the way we live.
From education to business, social interaction, democracy, lifestyle, design and the proliferation of the idea of Second Life, the internet has proved itself to be the next wonder of the world.
We have witnessed the development of e-commerce, e-learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), e-business, e-government, e-money, digital currency, digital economy and e-everything with even more to come.
World population now stands at about 7.4 billion and the world wide web population is currently at 3.4 billion. Amongst the world internet users, Asians are the highest with 1.7 billion people having internet access.
In today’s world, about 3.6 billion people, almost half of human population do not have access to the Internet and 90% of these live in developing countries.
In 2012, international internet bandwidth per user was 11.1 kb/s. By 2015, it rose to 146.76 kb/s. And as far as connectivity is concerned over 1.8 billion machines are currently connected to the Internet.
Internet is a blessing. Internet is a privilege. Internet is for use not abuse. While many people leverage on the power and myriad of potential the internet possess, most people in Nigeria are busy using the internet for useless activities. This abuse of opportunities should stop.
As part of our celebrating this important day, it would be wise on our part to call on all, most especially Nigerians to seek for ways of taking advantage of the tons and tons of opportunities available on the internet to change our lives for the best.
We therefore need to rethink how we exhaust our data bundles, which are very costly in this country anyway. Imagine a world without Internet. You wouldn’t be reading this now and Mark Zuckerberg would probably be poor.
All the world Internet Millionaires like Sergy Brin and Larry Page of Google, Jeff Bezzo of Amazon, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia of Airbnb, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp of Uber, Jack Ma of Alibaba and many others would probably be unknown.
We need to campaign for a new Internet policy. A policy that would increase internet penetration in Nigeria. Broadband is pretty expensive. Let’s call for a cheap internet bundle. Let’s advocate for a high impact Broadband policy.
As the giant of Africa, Nigeria ranks as the number 1 country for Internet usage, but 7 for Internet affordability with broadband costing as much as 30% of household expenses.
President Barack Obama in 2015 said that “Today, high speed broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”
It is indeed, it is.
HAPPY WORLD INTERNET DAY
Click here to see for yourself the first original website which happened to be live http: info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
c2016 Badamasi Aliyu Abdullahi