Without new investments, "the chances of connecting the world's population by 2030 look increasingly slim", according to the UN.
In 2022, a third of the world's population remained deprived of access toInternet and the pace of new connections has slowed, according to the latest UN statistics released on Friday. "Some 5.3 billion people worldwide now use the internet and although growth continues to be encouraging, the trend suggests that without new investment in infrastructure and a new impetus to generate new digital skills, the chances of connecting the world's population by 2030 look increasingly slim“Explains the International Telecommunications Union, in a press release.
If this year 2.7 billion people still do not have access, they were still 3 billion in 2021 and 3.6 billion in 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. This one "gave us a nice boost in terms of connectivity, but we need to keep up the pace to make sure everyone can benefitdigital, said Houlin Zhao, the secretary general of the UN organization. "This can only be achieved with more investment in digital networks and technologies, best practice regulation and training.", he added.
The IUT has identified two main obstacles to its goal of a fully connected global population: populations that are still unconnected are also the hardest to reach and the difficulties in moving from simple access to regular and easy access . The ITU believes that the obstacles are often underestimated, such as: too slow connection speeds, too high prices for equipment and subscriptions, the lack of digital culture or even cultural and linguistic barriers, but also the discrimination of gender and sometimes the simple lack of access to electricity.
"While the increase in the number of people using the internet around the world is encouraging, we cannot simply assure that the strong growth seen in recent years will continue.“Warned the American Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director in charge of development and above all a candidate for the succession of Houlin Zhao. Opposed to a Russian candidate, Doreen Bogdan-Martin is the favorite in the election to be held at the end of September in Bucharest. Regional disparities remain strong. Africa is the least connected of the six ITU regions, with 40% of the population online, in Arab countries this rate is 70%. In Asia-Pacific, the internet penetration rate has increased from 61% in 2021 to 64% this year. The Americas, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe show rates of over 80%. The Old Continent comes first with 89% of its population connected.