Internet has become more affordable and ubiquitous but the poorest remain excluded, says ITU
The cost of Internet services has fallen globally in 2022 but the world’s poorest remain deprived of the possibilities offered by this technology, according to a report published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
According The report Facts and figures ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICT)the Internet has become more affordable in all regions of the world and for all population groups regardless of income level.
However, the cost of the Internet remains a major barrier to Internet access, especially in low-income economies. The current global economic situation, characterized by high inflation, rising interest rates and great uncertainty, could make it all the more difficult to achieve the objective of extending the reach of the Internet in areas with low income.
” The Internet may be more affordable overall, but for billions of people around the world, this technology is still just as inaccessible “, said the ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao. ” We must ensure that internet affordability continues to move in the right direction, even as the global economic downturn increasingly weighs on the economic prospects of many countries “.
At the beginning of the year, the ITU reported that 2.7 billion people, or about a third of the world’s population, were still not connected to the Internet, which is an improvement compared to 2021. but reveals some step back from the considerable progress that was made in connectivity at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the height of the crisis.
” Internet access is growing, but not as quickly and evenly across the world as it should “, said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau and ITU Secretary-General elect. ” Those who do not have access to digital are still too many. The challenge we face is to mobilize the resources that would enable everyone to effectively benefit from connectivity “.
Inequalities between men and women
Although women represent almost half of the world’s population, they are 259 million less than men with access to the Internet. According to the Facts and Figures for 2022 report, only 63% of women will use the internet in 2022, compared to 69% of men. The gender gap is even more concerning in low-income countries, where 21% of women are online, compared to 32% of men, a figure that has not improved since 2019.
Overall, the world has moved closer to gender parity over the past three years. We speak of gender parity when the percentage of female Internet users divided by the percentage of male Internet users is between 0.98 and 1.02. The score for gender parity has thus improved, from 0.90 in 2019 to 0.92 in 2022.
Generally, regions with the highest Internet use also have the highest gender parity scores. Conversely, many of the least developed and most vulnerable economies around the world are characterized by low internet use, a low gender parity score and limited progress towards gender parity in course of the last three years.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICT). It promotes innovation in the ICT sector, along with its 193 Member States and more than 900 private sector entities, academic institutions and others. Founded more than 150 years ago, it is the intergovernmental organization responsible for coordinating the shared use of the radio frequency spectrum worldwide, encouraging international cooperation by allocating satellite orbits, strengthening the infrastructure communications in developing countries and to set global standards that ensure seamless interconnection of a wide variety of communications systems. Whether broadband networks or state-of-the-art wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, ocean observation and earth monitoring by satellite or convergence between fixed telephony and mobile telephony, the Internet or broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.
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1/3 of the world’s population does not have access to the internet according to the Facts and Figures report of the ITU, the United Nations institution for ICT – CDURABLE.info
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