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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.