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Half of global population to have internet access by 2017

New report by the Broadband Commission showcases increasing broadband access worldwide

Half of the world will be able to access the internet by 2017, according to the Broadband for All report from the Broadband Commission.

The study into the state of broadband access across the globe highlights the importance of developing infrastructure to meet demand.

It revealed that 40% of the world’s population can access the internet via at least one device, although it predicts that figure will reach 50% within three years.

The broadband commission report also states that there will be 6.9 billion mobile phone broadband subscriptions by the end of 2014, mainly driven by growth in the Asian markets.

It was launched at the UN Headquarters in New York and analyses what is being done to improve levels of broadband access, especially in the developing world.

Ireland’s position globally

Ireland was ranked 36th – of nearly 200 countries – for the number of fixed line broadband subscriptions per 100 people with a score of 24.2, considerably above the global average for this type of broadband, which stands at 9.4.

The number of active mobile subscriptions per 100 people also performed notably well compared to others across the globe, being ranked 22nd worldwide. A score of 67.2 was higher than the majority of countries – significantly above the world average of 26.7.

Ireland’s score of 78.2% for the number of individuals using the internet in 2013 also placed it prominently in the global listings, in 28th place.

Iceland, in comparison, had the highest score with 96.5% while Eritrea had the lowest recorded score of 0.9%, although data was not recorded for several countries.

Overall the global average for broadband access was 37.9%, so Ireland has more than double the global average.

About the Broadband Digital Commission

The Broadband Commission for Digital Development was launched in 2010 as part of efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

It provides practical approaches that can assist countries, at any level of progression on the broadband cycle, to develop broadband access and ensure broadband pricing is as affordable as possible.

The Broadband commission report follows another from the Commission for Energy Regulation that showed a drop in Irish broadband subscriptions in Q2 of this year.

ComReg reported a 0.3% fall in Q2, bring total subscriptions to just below 1.7 million.

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