At the end of 2015, there will be 3.2 billion people using the Internet, according to a new report. That is about 43 percent of the global population — a huge jump from 2000, when 400 million people (around 6.5 percent of the population) were online. The numbers come from "The World in 2015," a new report from the U.N.'s Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU).
Much of that growth is in developing countries. In fact, for every Internet user in the developed world, there are two in the developing world, according to the report. Many of them are using mobile networks instead of broadband connections. From 2001 to 2015, the percentage of the population covered by at least a 2G network jumped from 58 percent to 98 percent. The result: There are now 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.
"These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy," ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said Tuesday at a press conference. Overall, there are around 4 billion people who still aren't connected to the Internet, which companies like Facebook are targeting with programs like Internet.org.
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- Facebook's Internet.org Fosters Inequality, Global Digital Rights Groups Say (Forbes)