A new U.N. report has ranked Nigeria among the six nations that account for the 55% of the total global offline population.
The report released by the United Nation Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development shows that China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria account for 55% of all unconnected people, while among the estimated 3.9 billion people around the globe not using the Internet, 20 countries – including the US – account for a full 75% of them.
According to the 2016 edition of The State of Broadband report by the Commission, “the countries where offline populations are concentrated are surprisingly few. The top 20 countries with the largest offline populations (which include the United States at number 15) account for around 75% of the total global offline population. The top three countries alone (India, China and Indonesia) account for 46%, while adding in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria to create the top six countries accounts for 55%.”
While Internet access is approaching saturation in richer nations, connectivity is still not advancing fast enough to help bridge development gaps in areas like education and health care for those in poorer parts of the world, the report authors say.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]The Commission argues that if today’s near-universal basic mobile phone access could be converted to high-speed mobile broadband access, mobile phones could serve as a major accelerator of development, driving rapid progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.[/quote]Based on the report, India has overtaken the United States to become the world’s second largest Internet market, with 333 million users, trailing China’s 721 million.
The Commission argues that if today’s near-universal basic mobile phone access could be converted to high-speed mobile broadband access, mobile phones could serve as a major accelerator of development, driving rapid progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In total, there are now 91 economies where over 50% of the population is online, up from 79 in 2015. But whereas in 2014 the top ten countries for Internet use were all located in Europe, this year sees Bahrain (ranked 7th) and Japan (ranked 9th) join the group. The lowest levels of Internet usage are found in sub-Saharan Africa, with less than 3% of the population using the Internet in a number of countries including Chad (2.7%), Sierra Leone (2.5%), Niger (2.2%), Somalia (1.8%) and Eritrea (1.1%), according to the report.
Closer home for Nigeria, broadband penetration has reached 14%, according to a survey report released recently at TechPlus2016 in Lagos by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). Dr Ernest Ndukwe, National Co-ordination of A4AI, who disclosed the data said even though only 14% of its population have broadband access, Nigeria is ranked the highest user of Internet in Africa.
The Broadband Commission comprises more than 50 leaders from across a range of government and industry sectors who are committed to actively assisting countries, UN experts and NGO teams to fully leverage the huge potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to drive new national SDG strategies in key areas like education, healthcare and environmental management.
The State of Broadband 2016 is the sixth edition of the Commission’s broadband connectivity report. Released annually, it is the only report that features country-by-country rankings based on access and affordability for over 160 economies worldwide.