Sep 24, 2015 10:45 AM EDT
The United Nations published a report on global Internet use this week, with the bottom line being, “More than half, specifically 57% of the world, a total of 4.2 billion people, have no regular access to the Internet.”
For technology that has changed the other half of the world so drastically in the past 25 years, this is definitely alarming.
The Internet is not just a toy. It has opened up possibilities in communication, as well as bridged the gap in education. In fact, it became the bridge to creating a whole new sector of jobs. It also gave rise to new methods of working. It changed the way the world works, in all the crucial sectors. However, the fact that around 4.2 billion inhabitants of this increasingly wired planet are missing out on all the fun is not just a sad thing. It is tragic.
Access to the Internet can be a gateway out of poverty through access to better learning resources, which prepares the individual for better jobs. It is also a medium to find more jobs, and if investors find potential in certain countries, it could very well open up the floodgates of progress.
The data solidly back up the rationale for Facebook and Google’s efforts to bring the Internet to the unreached and un-connected areas of the world.
These two tech giants are certainly on the right track in narrowing the digital divide.
Meanwhile, residents of heavily wired countries would do well to abandon the habit of complaining about how slow their Internet is or how much they are experiencing downtime.
For 4.2 billion earthlings, they probably do not even know what Facebook is.
The UN is working with international governments and private companies to reach the goals for its program, “The 2030 Agenda.” Included in this are the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” which include plans for creating programs to bring connectivity in the currently un-wired areas.
For more on the report, check the UN’s publications:
Billions of people in developing world still without Internet access, new UN report finds: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51924#.VgLfkpf4Q5x
The State of Broadband 2015: Broadband as a Foundation for Sustainable Development: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/reports/bb-annualreport2015.pdf
Droid Report’s notes on Facebook and Google’s connectivity initiatives: http://www.droidreport.com/android-ones-impending-reboot-10681
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