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Friday, 12 October 2012 09:49

A third of the world has the Internet

Written by Nick Farrell



But getting a connection in some places is impossible


More than a third of the world's population is online, according to a UN agency.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) highlighted huge disparities in the cost of services, with the poorer parts of the world tending to pay the most. In terms of affordability, Macau, Norway and Singapore topped the list of 161 countries featured in the report. Madagascar came bottom, probably because they are governed by ring tailed lemurs, just behind Togo and Niger.

In Africa, internet connectivity prices were seven times higher than in the Americas, and 20 times higher than Europe in 2011. This year the numbers of mobile phones with broadband showed the sharpest growth.  Last year there were more than 1.1 billion subscriptions.

Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau said that despite a surge in mobile phone broadband, prices for ICT services remain very high in many low-income countries. Income from the telecommunication sector reached $1.5 trillion in 2010, around 2.4 per cent of the world's gross domestic product, the report said.

Nick Farrell

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