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    admin January 8, 2024 No Comments

    ​​​While virtually all urban areas in the world are covered by a mobile-broadband network, worrying gaps in connectivity and Internet access persist in rural areas, according to Measuring Digital Development: Facts and figures 2020, a new report launched today by the International Telecommunication Union. This matters even more due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    Estimates on small island developing states (SIDS) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) available for the first time

    “This edition of Measuring Digital Development: Facts and figures is released at a challenging time as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on lives, societies and economies around the world,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “For the first time, our research contains estimates of the connectivity status of small island developing states and landlocked developing countries, in addition to least developed countries: this is a very important milestone in our efforts to achieve sustainable development for all.”

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    Internet use prevalent among youth

    Not surprisingly, Internet use is consistently more widespread among young people, irrespective of region or level of development. Whereas just over half of the total global population is using the Internet, the proportion of Internet use increases to almost 70 per cent among young people aged 15-24 years.

    Slower infrastructure roll-out and other barriers to Internet use 

    The latest ITU data demonstrate that the roll-out of mobile-broadband networks has been slowing in 2020.

    Between 2015 and 2020, 4G network coverage doubled globally and almost 85 per cent of the global population will be covered by a 4G network at the end of 2020.

    Yet, annual growth has been slowing down gradually since 2017, and 2020 coverage is only 1.3 percentage points higher than 2019.

    In addition to infrastructure roll-out, the digital gender divide, lack of digital skills and affordability continue to be major barriers to meaningful participation in a digital society, especially in the developing world where mobile telephony and Internet access remain too expensive for many.
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