Half the world’s population does not have internet access, UN study shows
MORE than half the world’s population does not use the internet, with prohibitive broadband costs keeping billions off line, a United Nations report said.
The UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said that 3.9 billion people do not have home or mobile internet access and that the problem was most acute among the world’s “female, elderly, less educated, lower income and rural populations”.
One problem is the cost of fixedbroadband access, which has fallen globally over the last decade but remained “clearly unaffordable” in many of the world’s poorest countries, the ITU said.
In 2008, the global average price for a basic fixed-broadband connection was US$80 per month, a figure which fell to $25 a month last year, according to the ITU.
But, in poorer countries a fixedbroadband monthly package with just one gigabyte of data – which is roughly the amount needed to download an average movie – still costs more than half of an average annual salary.
With fixed broadband so expensive, mobile internet access can offer a solution to get more people online the ITU said, noting that mobilebroadband networks technically cover 84 percent of the world’s population. –
Syrian Civil Defence members remove rubble from a street on November 22 following air strikes by government forces on the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus.