Mobile services

60% of World Lacks Internet: Facebook Report

Carriers looking for business growth still have plenty of opportunity in raw connectivity, as only 40% of the world's population has ever connected to the Internet, according to a report this week from Internet.org, which is sponsored by Facebook.

Still, by early this year, 3 billion people will be connected to the Internet.

That's an awful lot of cat videos.

As you'd expect, developing countries are disproportionately represented among the unconnected. Only 32% of the population of emerging economies is connected. But there's also room for growth in the developed world, where 78% of the population is online, according to the report.

The Internet adoption rate is slowing, according to the report. The rate of growth declined for the fourth consecutive year to just 6.6% in 2014, down from 14.7% in 2010. At present rates of decelerating growth, Internet adoption won't reach 4 billion people until 2019.

Ninety percent of the world lives within range of a mobile signal -- they just need to connect. To get the whole world online, issues such as affordability and awareness need to be addressed, according to the report.

The findings are from "State of Connectivity: A Report on Global Internet Access," which looks at the state of Internet penetration and barriers to further growth. The report is issued by Internet.org.

Get the latest mobile news, analysis, and opinion on Light Reading's Mobile content channel.

Founded in 2013, Internet.org's mission is to connect the majority of the world's population that's not online. It's sponsored by Facebook, with participation from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), MediaTek Inc. (Taiwan: 2454), Opera Software ASA , Samsung Corp. , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) (See Facebook Et Al Aim to Bridge Digital Divide.)

Read a summary of the report here and the whole thing here.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, will discuss efforts to connect more people in a session with mobile operators at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, March 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT).

More about bridging the digital divide:

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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Mitch Wagner 3/5/2015 | 2:09:42 PM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village Cat videos are more important than food, clothing, or shelter!
jabailo 3/5/2015 | 1:15:28 PM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village  the poorest people in the world need electricity and potable water before they need Internet access. 

If they had Internet, they could order those on Amazon.com

In the end though, both Bill Gates and OLPC are wrong...only Sam Kinison had the right answer to world hunger....Move to where the FOOD IS!


OLPC always seemed like a pipe dream.

 In and of itself, perhaps...but remember OLPC was talking about sub-$200 Internet devices back in the days where minimal laptops could set you back $1000 or more!

Nowadays, getting a tablet for $100 is no big thing.

At the same time, getting a tablet with pervasive Internet, even here in the great USA is still kind of a hassle.   You still have to find a Starbucks or library before you can use it!

Wimax would have given the US all pervasive Internet for all devices (with the right size USB port, or chip inside).   Maybe Sprint Spark will do it for real!

mendyk 3/5/2015 | 12:07:39 PM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village Yes, but Bill Gates obviously is mired in tired old 20th century thinking -- including the idea that food, clothing, and shelter are still the top three needs for human existence.
Mitch Wagner 3/5/2015 | 10:15:55 AM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village OLPC always seemed like a pipe dream. Bill Gates was right -- the poorest people in the world need electricity and potable water before they need Internet access. 
pcharles09 2/28/2015 | 5:18:00 PM
Re: Repeat performance @SachinEE,

I doubt they'd make this report then charge for the folks that are out of luck. They may partner with organizations to get access for low-costs though, which isn't a terrible thing.
SachinEE 2/27/2015 | 9:46:51 PM
Re: Repeat performance @mendyk: I too thought that. No wonder facebook wants to increase the headcount in its business. Makes me wonder though, are they going to charge money from the villages they uplift? Make the poor still poorer by this way?
SachinEE 2/27/2015 | 9:45:40 PM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village @Jabailo: Or one barrel rolling network per city and one torus network per village.
jabailo 2/26/2015 | 11:11:47 AM
Re: One Mesh Network per Village  

For that matter a single Wimax tower can provide broadband access over an area of 30 square miles.   And they can be hooked together with microwave backbones.   This is why they use them in rural areas.   

And yes, the market place now provides an ample amount of sub-$200 and sub-$100 devices.  But I have found that a tablet without a network connection is nearly useless, and brought up OLPC more for the mesh network capabilities.  

mesh network is a network topology in which each node relays data for the network. All nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network. Every node in a mesh network is called a mesh node. Mesh networks can relay messages using either a flooding technique or a routing technique.




mendyk 2/26/2015 | 9:36:27 AM
Repeat performance Another MWC keynote from Mark Zuckerberg? Sounds like the show organizers are mailing it in.
R Clark 2/26/2015 | 4:29:36 AM
Laudable I think OLPC was a laudable initiative in that it at least got people talking about the issue. Likewise internet.org. Even if it doesn't work it's good to put the problem out there. You'd like to think the operator community would be at the forefront of any push to expand connectivity, but it seems to be a structural flaw that the telecom industry is built on national franchises with little incentive to think in global terms.
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