ITU wants half the planet online by 2015

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ITU wants half the planet online by 2015

25 percent not good enough.

Half of the world's population should have broadband access by 2015, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has announced in its 2010 World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (PDF).

Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, said that the number of internet users had more than doubled since 2003, and that more than 25 percent of the world's population is now using the internet.

However, Al Morshid said that the figure offers room for improvement, particularly in developing countries.

"The importance of bringing people online is widely recognised, but more efforts are needed to increase the number of internet users," he said.

"While today 75 percent of all households have a TV, only 25 percent have internet access. In the developing countries, home internet penetration is as low as 12 percent."

The report noted that, while internet access remains an issue, growth in mobile technology remains strong and is helping to link more disparate and diverse populations to the internet than ever before.

"Today, nearly 90 percent of the world's population is covered by a mobile cellular network, and even people in rural and remote areas now have the means to access the global information society," said ITU secretary general Hamadoun Touré.

The report was launched at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in Hyderabad and aims to provide a mid-term review of the progress the ITU wishes to see in the drive to create a global information society by 2015.

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