To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, over 11,000 survey respondents from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa 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 education’ tops the list of respondents’ aspirations for the future of the Internet (63 percent), followed by enabling ‘better access to healthcare’ (57 percent).

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 consumers is to ‘stay up-to-date and informed’ (74 percent) followed by ‘entertainment’ (71 percent) and to ‘stay in touch with family and friends’ (70 percent). The entertainment industry (39 percent) is seen as the primary beneficiary of technological advances to-date, followed by the finance industry (31 percent).
  • The next 30 years: Better access to education is the number one thing respondents want the internet to make possible over the next 30 years (63 percent) followed by better access to healthcare (57 percent). When asked which industries will benefit most from technological advancements, the top choice was ‘healthcare’ (at 34 percent) followed by ‘education’ (32 percent).
  • Most popular impact: ‘Connecting people’ (39 percent), ‘enhanced communication’ (35 percent) and ‘new ways of learning’ (35 percent) are seen as the top three ways in which the web has benefited society to-date.
  • We can’t live without it: Over a third (39 percent) of people can’t imagine being able to function in their personal lives without the internet. 

“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,” said Wendy Mars, President, Cisco EMEAR.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Web Cisco has curated a collection of 30 ‘world firsts’ made possible by this incredible technology. Read more about this here.

 

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