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October 8, 2013

UK jumps to eighth in global net-connectivity

40% of the world is anticipated to be online by end of 2013.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK has overtaken Hong Kong and Japan to place eighth in the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) latest ICT rankings.

Britain came up from 11th last year on the ITU’s ‘Measuring the Information Society’ report, which was topped by the Republic of Korea for the third year in a row, followed by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

About 80% of all the UK households had an internet connection by late 2012, which is more than double the global rate, while 250mpeople had joined the internet in 2012 across the world.

The report forecasts that about 40% of the world’s population will be online by late 2013 via tablets and smartphones, but warns that the comparative high price of accessing the web in developing countries is causing a ‘digital divide’.

However, the number of mobile phone subscriptions would reach 6.8bn by the end of the year, with about 2.7bn people connected to the internet globally.

ITU also shows that 90% of the globe’s 1.1bn families not yet connected to the internet live in the developing world, while a group of 39 countries – mostly African – were not working to launch information and communications technologies.

As a result, they warned that at current growth rates it was unlikely that the UN Broadband Commission’s 2015 targets for global internet use would be achieved.

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Between 2008 and 2012, the prices of fixed-broadband dropped by 82%, from 115.1% of average monthly income per capita in 2008 to 22.1% last year.

About 30% of the world’s young population are ‘digital natives’, with the digital native population in the developing countries is projected to more than double within the next five years, the report added.

ITU’s telecommunication development bureau director, Brahima Sanou, said: "Young people are the most enthusiastic adopters and users of ICTs.

"They are the ones who will shape the direction of our industry in the coming decades, and their voice needs to be heard."

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