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A third of the world’s population still does not have internet access, says the UN

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A third of the world’s population will remain without internet access in 2022, and the pace of new connections has slowed, according to the latest UN statistics.

According to studies of the International Telecommunication Union, the African continent has only 40% of its population using a permanent connection. By comparison, Europe tops this list in terms of internet penetration, with 89% of its population now using it.

Slowdown is in progress

However, the figures reported by the UN agency also show a disturbing reality: the growth of Internet network power is slowing down almost everywhere in the world. This trend is accelerating, the ITU notes, suggesting that without massive investment in infrastructure and new impetus to boost users’ digital skills, the chances of connecting the last internet and social networks by 2030 are getting slimmer, says Bilel Jamoussi. Office for Telecommunications Standardization ITU.

The standardization of telecommunications networks managed by the ITU makes it possible to guarantee the international connectivity and interoperability of optical fiber networks. Today, 90% of the world’s data, voice and video traffic passes through these fiber-optic networks, which have been “standardized” by our UN agency. underlines. These networks therefore require significant investment. ” Our mission is to ensure that they are deployed for the so-called inclusive digital transformation in the areas of remote healthcare, online education or, for example, to support mobile banking transactions. The goal of this standardization is to put quality networks in the hands of ITU member states, manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, who are committed to taking into account the needs of developing countries to quickly include the nearly three billion people around the world who so far have no access to the Internet. »

In its analysis, the International Telecommunication Union recommends two main challenges for manufacturers in the telecommunications sector: the rapid development of universal connectivity for remote and hard-to-reach areas, where the majority of people excluded from the Internet are concentrated. It also recommends the modernization of existing broadband networks in order to improve the living conditions of the population.

Significant progress in Africa

The Covid pandemic brought “ nice support in terms of connectivity “. But she also drew attention to recurring problems that plague Internet networks. These are mainly too low connection speeds, too high prices for equipment and telecommunications subscriptions, to which is added the lack of digital culture or even the cultural and language barriers of billions of Internet users. Not to mention that in some remote areas, users deprived of a reliable source of electricity simply cannot connect, warns the ITU report.

Africa, the world’s least connected region, saw a 13% annual increase in internet penetration. According to IUT, 40% of the African population is online today.

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