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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# access for all
The internet is going to have 3 billion people using it next year
And it’s expected that nearly half of the world’s population will have online access by 2018.

THE NUMBER OF internet users globally will hit 3 billion next year, and reaching half of the world’s population by 2018, according to new estimates.

The findings, which the internet will be able to reach more than two in five people in the world this year as online audiences hit 2.89 billion users globally, say eMarketer.

It’s expected that by 2018, half of the world’s population – 3.6 billion – will access the internet at least once a month.

The reason for this was put down to growth in emerging markets. Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections is expected to drive internet access and usage in countries which don’t have it because of lack of infrastructure or affordability.

While nearly everyone in developed countries have internet access, the main source of growth will be in developing countries which are gaining access to the internet for the first time.

That race to connect those in developing areas to the internet has gathered pace with Google and Facebook each heading their own internet projects.

While Google plans to bring WiFi to remote areas via high-altitude balloons via Project Loon, Facebook is stepping up its efforts by expanding its drone team in its Connectivity Lab, which also aims to bring internet access to remote areas.

It’s estimated that two-thirds of the word population currently don’t have access to the internet, meaning providing internet access is of great interest for Google and Facebook.

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