Introduction: Background, Motivation and Objectives

The global focus on universal connectivity is driven in part by the fact that, despite the meteoric growth of Internet use and broadband connectivity, 49 per cent of the world’s population, or 3.7 billion people, were still offline and excluded from the benefits of the global digital economy at the end 2019. Offline populations are particularly concentrated in least developed countries, where only 19 per cent of individuals were online in 2019. Regionally, less than half the populations of Africa and Asia-Pacific are online (29 and 45 per cent, respectively)

Figure 3: Individuals using the Internet, 2005-2019*

Figure 4: Percentage of individuals using the Internet, by region and development status, 2019*