Feeds

THREE BILLIONTH person to come online in early 2015

Just 40 per cent of humanity is online, mostly in rich nations where broadband is fast

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Sometime in the first weeks of 2015, someone will become the three-billionth person to connect to the internet.

So says the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which on Monday emitted a new batch of statistics about how humanity connects.

Person three-billion will probably be in what the ITU calls, but does not offer a definition for, a “developing” country and will probably use a mobile broadband service. That's because ITU says the developing world is now adding internet users at a faster rate than more economically-advanced nations and also because mobile broadband growth is out-stripping fixed line services in the developing world.

Mobile broadband remains a huge growth market, with subscriptions set to reach 2.3 billion by the end of 2014, five times more than in 2008. The Asia-Pacific region alone will account for a billion mobile broadband subs by year's end, but even with that colossal count the region will still only have around 23 per cent of its population online.

Which is not to say developing nations are laggards: the ITU says “In 2013, the number of fixed-broadband subscriptions in developing countries overtook the number in developed countries,” while “In developing countries, the number of Internet users will have doubled in 5 years, from 974 million in 2009 to 1.9 billion in 2014.” That growth outstrips adoption in wealthier nations handily, and there are more users waiting to be connected in developing nations too: the statistics suggest internet connection rates are “78% in developed countries and 32% in developing countries,” and that of the four billion people yet to come online “more than 90% … are from the developing world.”

The ITU's 2014 internet population data

Where the connected people are

The data is yet another explanation, if one were needed, of just why the world's biggest technology companies are so keen on connecting “the next billion” with cheap mobile phones (Microsoft) or run-on-anything versions of their web services (Facebook) or bandwidth-beaming-balloons (Google). Connecting another billion people will, after all, grow the potential market for online services by a third, an opportunity any industry would welcome.

The ITU also offers a broadband speed league table in which the UK does well, but misses Reg-reading nations like Australia and India so can't be considered a great guide to broadband around the world. UK readers may be pleased to see their isles winning seventh place in the incomplete table, ahead of the USA but behind France and runaway leader South Korea. Click here to see a bigger version of the broadband speed league table.

ITU Broadband Speed League Table

The ITU's new broadband speed league table. Click here for a bigger version.

The ITU's data can be found here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.