A newly released report by the International Telecommunications Union states that almost half of the entire global population will be online by the end of 2016. The report by the UN body states that most of this growth will be concentrated in the developed countries with the developing nations still lagging behind.
The report attributes this stellar growth to the continued uptake of mobile devices globally, which have dramatically lowered the barrier to access to the internet. Also highlighted as a catalyst has been the fall in the prices of data across the world, making it affordable for users to continually enjoy internet services. Currently, the world’s most developed countries have about 80 percent of the population using the internet while only about 40 percent in developing countries and less than 15 percent in less-developed countries are online.
In some of these least developed nations, only one in 10 people enjoy access to the internet. A further breakdown of the report shows that most of those offline in these nations are female, poor, less educated and likely live in the rural areas. Currently, 47% of the entire world’s population is online and the ITU expects the number to hit 3.5 Billion by the end of the year. The United Nations hopes to have at least 60% of the global population online by 2020.
Kenya has been leading in this shift, where nearly 70% of the entire population accesses the internet based off a Communications Authority report. This has been fostered by the high penetration levels of smartphones in the market.