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Broadband Deemed Affordable In 111 Countries

May 27, 2015

iStock_000005643842MediumThe International Telecommunication Union released a report this week outlining where the world is today – in 2015 – in terms of Internet access. The report “features end-2015 estimates for key telecommunication/ICT indicators, including on mobile-cellular subscriptions, Internet use, fixed and mobile broadband services, home ICT access, and more.”

The data shows how far we have come over the last 15 years. The report found:

  • There are 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide, include two billion users in developing nations;
  • Between 2000 and 2015, Internet penetration increased from 6.5 to 43 percent of the global population;
  • The percentage of households with Internet access at home increased from 18 percent in 2005 to 46 percent in 2015.;
  • By the end of the year, there will be seven billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, up from 738 million in 2000, a figure that corresponds with a 97 percent penetration rate;
  • 69 percent of the world’s population has access to 3G mobile broadband;
  • Mobile-broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe and the Americas, where about 78 percent of the population has access to mobile broadband;
  • Africa is the only region where mobile broadband penetration remains below 20 percent;
  • Fixed broadband prices have dropped significantly worldwide since 2008, declining in developing countries and remaining relatively stable in developed countries;
  • Broadband is now affordable in 111 countries, meaning the cost of a basic broadband plan is less than five percent of per capita Gross National Income (GNI).

The ITU report concludes “that over the past 15 years, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have grown in an unprecedented way, providing huge opportunities for social and economic development.”

There is still a lot of work to do, but these figures are quite remarkable indeed.