“About 5.3 billion people worldwide now use the Internet, and while growth continues to be encouraging, the trend suggests that without new investment in infrastructure and a new push to create new digital technologies, the chances of connecting the world’s population to in 2030 they seem to be less and less. “, said in a press release. international telecommunication union (IUT).
The pandemic has given “a good boost in terms of connectivity”
If this year 2.7 billion people still do not have access, they were still 3 billion in 2021 and 3.6 billion in 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. This “gave us a good boost in terms of connectivity, but we need to keep the same pace to ensure that everyone benefits” from digital, underlined Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
“This can only be done with more investments in networks and digital technologiesthe best example of grooming and training,” he added.
Still many obstacles
IUT has identified two major obstacles to its goal of a fully connected global population: the populations that are still unconnected are also the most difficult to reach, and the difficulties in moving from simple access to regular and easy access.
ITU believes that barriers are often underestimated such as: too slow connection speed, too high prices for devices and subscriptions, lack of digital culture or even cultural and language barriers, but also discrimination gender and sometimes the simple lack of access to electricity.
Strong regional disparities
“While the increase in the number of people using the Internet worldwide is encouraging, we simply cannot guarantee that the strong growth observed in recent years will continue,” warned American Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director in charge of development.
Regional disparities remain strong. Africa is the least connected of the six ITU regions, with 40% of the population online, in Arab countries this rate is 70%. In Asia-Pacific, the internet penetration rate has increased from 61% in 2021 to 64% this year. America, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe show rates above 80%. The Old Continent comes first with 89% of its population connected.