A recent survey reveals that 4.2 billion out of 7.4 billion people living on the planet still have no internet or internet-connected device.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) made their predictions for how many people will be connected to the internet by the end of the year. The report was published by BBC, this Tuesday.
They inform that only 35.3 percent (35.3%) of people living in developing countries will use the Internet on a regular basis, as opposed to 82.2 percent (82.2%) lucky enough to live in developed countries.
People with the misfortune of living in the so called least developed countries in the world (such as Somalia or Nepal), fair the worst of all. In these countries, only a mere 9.5 percent (9.5%) will be connected to the internet by the end of December 2015.
Industry experts see mobile broadband as the quickest and easiest way get a significantly larger part of the world’s population connected. On one it’s simply a practical choice – it’s much easier to cover rural areas with mobile networks than it is with fixed broadband.
Smartphones are also becoming more affordable, take up less space and require less maintenance than a PC or a laptop.
Poor countries and rural areas present a unique set of challenges when it comes to setting up internet connections. According to the GSM Association, the money investment alone has to be enough to cover cost of maintaining and powering cell towers in remote or off-grid locations.
Then there are the socio-economical issues – thinly spread, low income populations make for much, much lower revenue expectations, so investors aren’t quick to offer.
Not to mention the barrier posed by illiteracy. There are only so many things you can do on the internet if you can’t read. Even when you search for videos or photos, you still have to be able to type what you’d like the internet to point you to.
People in very poor countries often only speak their national language. They can’t read, speak or understand international, wide-spread languages such as English, French, or German. And since they’re not going to find much content in their own obscure, national language that only a few million people on the planet understand, they’re not going to have much to do on the internet.
The International Telecommunication Union goes on to predict that by the end of the year 29 percent (29%) of people living in rural areas around the world will be covered by a 3G network and 69 percent (69%) of the entire global population will be covered by a 3G network. The percentage is clearly higher than the 45 percent (45%) from four (4) years ago.
Zhao Houlin, International Telecommunication Union secretary general, gave a statement saying “These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most”.
Brahima Sanou, director of the International Telecommunication Union telecommunication development bureau, also shared a few thoughts, informing that ICTs will play an even bigger role in the post 2015 development agenda, as well as in achieving future sustainable development goals, since the world keeps moving faster and faster towards a digital society.
The top countries when it comes to the fastest broadband speeds in the world are South Korea, France and Ireland.
The countries with the worse broadband speed in the world are Senegal, Pakistan and Zambia.