The research claims that 3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the resources of the internet, despite falling prices for information and communications technology.
ITU says that 81% of people in developed countries use the internet, compared with 40% in developing countries and 15% in the least developed countries. Overall some 47% of people in the world now use the internet.
Despite higher internet penetration in developed countries, population figures mean that developing countries now account for the “vast majority” of internet users, with 2.5 billion users there compared with 1 billion in developed countries.
“Global interconnectedness is rapidly expanding, however more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide and bring the more than half of the global population not using the Internet into the digital economy,” said ITU secretary-general, Houlin Zhao.
ITU is the United Nations-specialised agency for information and communication technologies. The organisation’s duties include allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits and developing the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies interconnect.
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