A fair, equal and sustainable Internet

by Kelly Widdicks working at Lancaster University responding to Cross-cutting challenge areas

I am interested in exploring

If the cost of video streaming or other more data-intensive forms of Internet use were to increase for reasons of environmental sustainability, how will people who rely on such Internet use be affected and how can they be protected? For example, in the case of workers involved in video streaming, how would content creators sustain or increase their viewing audiences? And how would TV or film reviewers ensure they could review content without incurring income-diminishing costs? We need to ensure a fair and equal Internet for everyone, as well as the environment, by fully considering these issues of social justice in both Internet policy and digital technology design. This idea cuts across issues of sustainability, digital wellbeing and Internet access.

My motivation is

People’s demand for the Internet has an environmental consequence, with ICT expected to form 21% of our global electricity demand by 2030 [Andrae & Edler 2015]. Internet traffic is predominantly formed by video streaming, and HCI research has highlighted the need to raise video services’ costs to better reflect their environmental impact; yet this contradicts net-neutrality [Widdicks et al. 2019]. Given current formulations of net-neutrality cannot continue for environmental concerns, how can we ensure a fair Internet for all – particularly those who rely on the Internet, such as for work? We need to understand how we can protect people in this socio-technical space, and ensure Internet policies and technology designs drive fair, equal and sustainable Internet access and use.

Project focus

I want to focus on:

  • Recognition
  • Redistribution
  • Proactive Resilience and Reparation


I am looking for an academic partner in:

  • Computer science and HCI

I am looking for a partner in these sectors:

  • Public Sector
  • Industry / SMEs

I am looking to work in these areas:

  • Finance & Labour market (including banking, gig economy)
  • Web design and digital innovation
  • Internet policy

Sandpit events

I am going to: Newcastle, February 27th 2020



Catalyst facilitates collaborations between Not-Equal Network+ members, who wish to develop and submit a research project in response to Not-Equal’s second Call for Collaborative Proposals. Search for initial project ideas and get in touch with potential collaborators.