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This article was published on September 21, 2015

    More than 4 billion people will still be offline at the end of 2015

    More than 4 billion people will still be offline at the end of 2015
    Owen Williams
    Story by

    Owen Williams

    Former TNW employee

    Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

    The United Nations Broadband Commission’s 2015 report is out, which provides 100 pages of graphs and information about how internet connectivity is progressing globally.

    This year’s report says that more than 121 countries will reach mobile saturation by the end of 2015 and growth in those countries is now relying on upgrading customers to 4G and pushing payment platforms.

    The commission says that more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions will be surpassed by the end of the year — 97 subscriptions per 100 people — due to individual devices now coming online.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.52.27 PM

    Internet connectivity is reaching saturation in the developed world, with more than 82 percent of the population online. In 2011 the Broadband Commission set a goal to get 60 percent of the world online by 2015, but that’s a goal unlikely to be met before 2021.

    That’s due to lagging growth in the developing world, with only around 34 percent of people connected in households within developing countries. By the end of 2015, 57 percent of people worldwide will still be offline — about four billion people.

    Internet growth has slowed more than expected
    Internet growth has slowed more than expected

    The numbers and slowing growth are surprising, but highlight a key growth area companies such as Facebook’s Internet.org and Google’s Project Loon are looking to leverage as they seek expansion worldwide.

    Broadband Commission Report [UN Broadband Commission]

    Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock