The global growth of broadband has slowed down and more than half of the population of the globe is still without Internet. This was according to a report released by the United Nation’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development, called The State of Broadband 2015. The Broadband Commission was launched by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The report says that 57 per cent of people around the globe remain offline and are unable to take advantage of the benefits that the Internet can provide. The ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao stated, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals remind us that we need to measure global development by the number of those being left behind.”
New figures in the report say that 3.2 billion people are now connected, which is an increase from 2.9 billion last year. However, access to the internet is approaching saturation levels in the developed world. Only 35 per cent of those living in developing countries have access to the internet. In the 48 countries designated by the US as the least developed countries, 90 per cent of the people are without Internet connectivity. In total, there are now 79 countries where more than 50 per cent of the population is online. The top ten countries for internet use are located in Europe while those with the least internet access are mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. These include Guinea (1.7 per cent), Somalia (1.6 per cent), and Burundi (1.4 per cent), Timor Leste (1.1 per cent), and Eritrea (1.0 per cent).
According to the report, there has also been increase in the number of countries with a National Broadband Plan. Currently there are 148 countries with a Broadband Plan as compared to 102 in 2010.
The reports also ranks countries based on specific criteria. In the list of fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, Monaco topped the list with 46.8 followed by Switzerland with 46. India was ranked 131 with 1.2. In the list of mobile broadband connections per 100 inhabitants, Macao, China lead with 322.2 while India was ranked at 155 with 5.5. South Korea headed the list ranking the percentage of households with internet with 98.5 percent. India ranked at 80 with 15.3 per cent.