Internet population to grow to 2 billion

19 Oct 2010

The number of users of the internet will surpass 2 billion this year, said a United Nations agency. However, the agency also said that developing nations need to improve access to further economic growth.

According the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), users have doubled in the past five years.

This would mean that almost a third of the global population – estimated at 6.9 billion – would be online.

There were 226 million new internet users this year, with 162 million of them will from developing countries with a higher rate of growth by the end of the year.

By the end of 2010, however, 71pc of the population in developed countries will be online, compared with 21pc of people in developing countries.

Sixty-five per cent of Europe is online, ahead of America with 55pc, and 21.9pc of Asia/Pacific is online and in Africa, just 9.6pc use the internet.

In developing countries, only 13.5pc of people online have the internet at home, making access to it in schools, work and public places much more vital to them.

The ITU stressed the importance for developing countries to build up high-speed connections.

“Broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure.

“It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity and underpin long-term economic competitiveness.”