Before the pandemic nearly half the world’s population, were unconnected
A third third of the world’s population – remain unconnected according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations information and communication technologies agency.
ITU’s new estimate of 2.7 billion people unconnected compares with an updated estimate of three billion people unconnected in 2021.
Globally, the number of Internet users grew by seven per cent. The number of individuals using the Internet grew by six per cent between 2021 and 2022.
The ITU estimates 5.3 billion people are using the Internet. But without increased infrastructure investment the chance of connecting everyone by 2030 “looks increasingly slim”.
The ITU says connecting the remaining one-third of the world population will be difficult as they mostly live in remote, hard-to-reach areas. Other barriers to total world connection are slow Internet speed, limited affordability of hardware and subscription packages; inadequate digital awareness and skills; and linguistic and literacy barriers and the lack of reliable a power source.
Africa is the least connected of ITU’s six world regions although 40 per cent of the population in Africa is online. The Arab States have connectivity of 70 per cent of the population In Asia and the Pacific, Internet penetration grew from 61 per cent in 2021 to 64 per cent in 2022.
Europe remains the most connected region globally with 89 per cent of its population online.