TIM BERNERS-LEE has spoken out in favour of net neutrality, calling it "critical for Europe's future".
The World Wide Web pioneer was speaking in a blog on the European Commission website.
The European Parliament has made a clear declaration in favour of net neutrality, but it is open to individual veto by country, and the UK is one of those investigating the pros and cons.
The Netherlands remains to date the only country to pass a ruling in full support of net neutrality.
Berners-Lee said: "When I designed the web, I deliberately built it as a neutral, creative and collaborative space, building on the openness the internet offered.
"My vision was that anyone, anywhere in the world could share knowledge and ideas without needing to buy a licence or ask permission from myself or any CEO, government department or committee.
"This openness unleashed a tidal wave of innovation, and it is still powering new breakthroughs in science, commerce, culture and much more besides."
Berners-Lee emphasised the importance of the web for human rights, explaining that departing from net neutrality "would crowd out competition and snuff out innovative new services before they even see the light of day".
"Imagine if a new start-up or service provider had to ask permission from, or pay a fee to, a competitor before they could attract customers," he added.
"This sounds a lot like bribery or market abuse, but it is exactly the type of scenario we would see if we depart from net neutrality."
The Council of the European Union will discuss the problem this spring as part of a proposal called the Telecoms Single Market regulation.
Berners-Lee is inviting everyone to press the European Union to keep net neutrality high on the radar of the European Parliament beyond this, with a view to passing full legislation to protect the open internet.
In America, where the issue has been hot button for over a year, a decision is expected to be reached by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at a meeting at the end of February.
Last week, the FCC raised the level at which an internet connection can be called 'broadband', which may give some indication of how it plans to roll out its decision. µ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too