One-third of global population offline in 2023: Report
Without meaningful access, individuals risk being left behind, especially as technologies like artificial intelligence become more integral to daily life
In the year 2023, the latest data from ITU, the UN tech agency, reveals that although there has been significant progress in Internet connectivity, approximately 33 per cent of the global population remains offline.
This represents a slight improvement from 2022 when 2.7 billion people were without Internet access.
In 2023, an estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide are still offline, while 5.4 billion people, or 67 per cent of the global population, have gained access to the Internet.
ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, expressed optimism about this progress, emphasising its alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
According to sources, despite this growth, the report highlights that connectivity improvements were most significant in low-income countries, with a 17 per cent increase in Internet users over the past year.
However, less than one-third of individuals in these nations are currently connected.
The data also indicates that the rapid growth in Internet connectivity observed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has not been sustained.
As a result, there are concerns about meeting the goal of universal and meaningful connectivity by 2030.
To achieve this objective, a comprehensive approach is required.
This approach should address not only infrastructure but also factors like affordability and digital skills.
The Internet is an essential tool for accessing information, job opportunities, and education.
Without meaningful access, individuals risk being left behind, especially as technologies like artificial intelligence become more integral to daily life.
In conclusion, while progress has been made in expanding Internet access, achieving universal connectivity by 2030 remains a considerable challenge.
A multi-faceted approach that considers infrastructure, affordability, and skills is necessary to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of the digital world.