The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recently published “Connecting Humanity – Assessing investment needs of connecting humanity to the Internet by 2030“, a comprehensive new study that estimates the investment needed to achieve universal, affordable broadband connectivity for all humanity by the end of this decade.
Nearly half the global population aged 10 years and over – equating to some three billion people – has never used the Internet. Many of the unconnected live in rural and remote areas, where connectivity remains a challenge. A disproportionate number are women, particularly in Africa and South Asia, where the digital gender divide is particularly marked. And of course most are poor, lack basic literacy and, with only limited digital exposure, see little value in getting online.
With just ten years remaining to meet the SDGs, this timely new report asks: What will it take to connect the world? How much investment is needed, where are the global ‘pain points’, and how can we mobilize the unprecedented levels of financing needed to extend networks to unserved communities?
The ITU study is freely accessible in pdf format on the ITU’s website.