ICT

2.6bn people not connected to internet globally, says ITU

About one-third of the global population, or 2.6 billion people worldwide are not connected to the Internet, according to the latest data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN tech agency.
The data revealed that more people are connected than ever before but progress needs to accelerate, adding that, sustained efforts are needed to achieve universal and meaningful connectivity by 2030.
It stated that, “the number of people worldwide not connected to the Internet decreased to an estimated 2.6 billion people in 2023. The reduction from the estimated 2.7 billion people offline in 2022 leaves 33 per cent of the global population unconnected in 2023. This means 67 per cent of the world’s population, or 5.4 billion people, are now online.”
Reacting to the report, ITU secretary-general, Doreen Bogdan-Martin said this improvement in connectivity is another step in the right direction, and one more step towards leaving no one behind in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals “We won’t rest until we live in a world where meaningful connectivity is a lived reality for everyone, everywhere,” Bogdan-Martin averred.
According to early estimates, growth in Internet connectivity remains the strongest in low-income countries where data indicate that Internet users increased by about 17 per cent over the past year. However, less than one-third of individuals are connected to the Internet in these countries.
“We must not forget that behind this data are people who are not able to access the Internet and enjoy the life-changing benefits that it can bring in the era of digital transformation. These numbers highlight the importance of measuring and tracking data so that we know where to focus our efforts to meaningfully connect everyone to the Internet by 2030. With these developments, we must also focus on building digital skills for all to equip users with the necessary skills that may help unlock value and have a rewarding safe experience online,” director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava recommended.

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