Onward, Internet

We love the Internet. We love how disruptive it is. We love how funny it is. We love how transformative, wild and open it is. So we made it NCTA's 2014 goal to champion the Internet for what it is: The most important technology since Gutenberg’s printing press. We wanted to do it in a way that allowed us to connect with people who are as passionate about the Internet as we are. From that idea, we created Onward Internet.


Onward Internet is a place to express a shared vision for the future of the Internet; how it’s exciting and dynamic and fun. But in order to share a vision we needed more than one participant. We had to collect ideas from real individuals and we had to find a way to do it so that it that delivered unbiased opinions. If people knew it was us looking for suggestions, we worried it would influence their ideas. This would be true if Google or Wikipedia were asking, too. So we decided to ask anonymously. We wanted to give people a chance to share their vision for the future without being swayed by the asker, leaving them free to express sincere ideas. So instead of our logo, we bannered the Onward Internet site with an incredible video designed to provoke big ideas and inspire a sense of awe in the Internet. Instead of turning events into a well-worn public policy debate, we hired amazing actors and dressed them as “employees of the Internet” who encouraged passers-by to submit ideas with a five-foot long pen into a six-foot suggestion box.

After eight weeks and thousands of suggestions from across the country, we couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve received. As we suspected, we share many of the visions of the people who submitted suggestions. We too want faster speeds, more Wi-Fi, and more unicorns. We too want better security, more access, and an open, innovative future. And while the story of net neutrality has ruled the day, Onward Internet is about so much more than law and policy. It’s about connecting ideas and contributing to a shared vision for the future of technology.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.27.40 PM

Onward Internet is an NCTA initiative and the full branding is being implemented in the coming days along with some other new features. From there, we’ll begin sharing the things people told us they wanted from the next ten years of the Internet. We’ll also be creating original content that show what we want for the next ten years. We hope people will be pleasantly surprised to see they’re almost always the same thing. Our hope for this project is as it was when we started it this past summer. We want to show that we love the Internet, we’re hopeful for its future, we’re excited for its potential, and most importantly, how much we have in common with everyone else who loves the Internet as much as we do.