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40% of world will be online by year end, 4.4 billion will remain unconnected watch

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    (Original post by UN News Centre)
    7 October 2013 – A United Nations report released today projects that by the end of the year, 40 per cent of the world’s population – 2.7 billion people – will be online, as mobile broadband has become the fastest growing segment of the global information and communication technology (ICT) market.

    The annual report of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) also estimates that by the end of 2013, there will be some 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscription – almost as many as there are people on the planet.

    While speeds and prices vary widely within and across regions, the report shows that broadband pricings in more than 160 countries over the past four years fell by 82 per cent overall, from 115 per cent of average monthly income per capita in 2008 to 22 per cent in 2012. In addition, mobile broadband has become more affordable than fixed broadband, making this a more popular form of connectivity.

    The ITU also released its ICT Development Index (IDI), which ranks 157 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills. The Republic of Korea (ROK) topped the list for the third year in a row, followed closely by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

    The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong (China) also rank in the top 10, with the UK nudging into the top 10 group from 11th position last year.

    Figure 1: Least connected countries end of 2012


    In terms of broadband pricing, Austria has the world’s most affordable mobile broadband, while São Tomé and Príncipe, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the least affordable.

    “This year’s IDI figures show much reason for optimism, with governments clearly prioritizing ICTs as a major lever of socio-economic growth, resulting in better access and lower prices,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.

    In spite of remarkable progress, the report notes that there are large differences between developed and developing countries, making evident the link between income and ICT progress. The so-called Least Connected Countries are home to a third of the world’s total population, who could greatly benefit from access to and use of ICTs in areas such as health, education and employment.

    “Our most pressing challenge is to identify ways to enable those countries which are still struggling to connect their populations to deploy the networks and services that will help lift them out of poverty,” Mr. Touré said.

    This year the report developed a new model to estimate the size of the ‘digital native’ population, who are defined as “15-24 years [old] with five or more years of online experience.” About 30 per cent of the world’s young people fall into this category.

    However, there are still notable differences between developed and developing countries. In developed countries, 86 per cent of young people – 145 million young Internet users – are digital natives. In contrast, of the 503 million young Internet users in developing countries, less than half are considered digital natives. This is expected will rapidly change as the ITU forecasts that the amount of digital natives in developing countries will more than double in the next five years.

    “Young people are the most enthusiastic adopters and users of ICTs. They are the ones who will shape the direction of our industry in the coming decades, and their voice needs to be heard,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...=#.UlQFLFBOO8c
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    Malaysia calls for action to be taken following the release of this report. In a truly integrated world, the benefits of the internet are vital for all to take advantage of. We call for a look into how information and communication technology systems can be implemented across the world.
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    (Original post by Wawasan)
    Malaysia calls for action to be taken following the release of this report. In a truly integrated world, the benefits of the internet are vital for all to take advantage of. We call for a look into how information and communication technology systems can be implemented across the world.
    Indonesia agree with Malaysia the increased coverage and implementation of the internet and communication are a way to improve life for all people.
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    Although the Netherlands agrees with Indonesia and Malaysia, it feels that ensuring everyone is free from persecution and has basic human rights is far more important than getting the whole world on facebook.
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    France agrees with the Malaysian representative and believes that without access to the internet, countries such as the ones mentioned as 'least connected' will fall behind even further and we strongly back any efforts to get said countries online.

    Zimbabwe is looking to further its investment in ICT and make getting online more affordable for our citizens. However, we first need to face up to the challenge of getting our economy back on track and getting basic necessities to our citizens before we can think about a huge investment in our ICT infrastructure. Though we aim for a bit of a investment which we hope can boost our economy at the same time.
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    Both the Republic of India and the Swiss Confederation agree that the benefits of IT are of absolute importance to any nation access to free media is paramount to any democracy, to the extent to which it has become a human right. Of course, we must ensure that people are connected and we must ensure that other countries shall be willing for cooperation over the internet in order to keep it as free and as open as possible.
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    Norway feels that the global community is now more closely connected in a variety of areas by the existence of good online links. We would therefore support any initiative aimed at increasing the online presence of nations which currently struggle with this. Whilst the representative for the Netherlands raises an excellent point regarding the achievement of human rights over Facebook, this is often a cultural and sovereignty-based problem, which may be aided by online access for constituents of such nations.
 
 
 
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