It may seem like everyone in the world is online, but in actual fact, more than half of the world’s population is still without internet access. According to a new report by the United Nations’ Broadband Commission, 57% of people across the globe do not have regular access to the web – that’s a huge 4.2 billion people. In least developing countries (LDCs), up to 90% of people are without access.
A lack of internet access can hold back these countries from developing to their full potential, restricting communication and access to information. The UN report states that there is extensive evidence that effective broadband is a vital factor for economic growth, environmental protection and social inclusion in the modern age, showing how important it is for the figures to be improved.
The UN’s goal is have 60 percent of the world accessing the internet by 2020, and major names in tech are already taking steps to try and improve the situation. Facebook have plans to use solar powered drones to circle far above the globe and bring internet access to deprived areas of the world where the infrastructure would not support the construction of conventional systems. With innovative ideas such as these on the horizon, the numbers of people accessing the internet will hopefully increase over the next few years, enabling economic and social growth for some of the planet’s poorest countries.