Box – Half of humanity is NOT online

If the spread of ICTs only brings good things there is no need to regulate it and the only question is how to accelerate its expansion so that everybody in the world can benefit from it. Thus, under SDG 9 on industrialization and innovation, target 9.c commits to "significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020."

This formulation is a bit awkward. It seems to imply that there would be complete world coverage by 2020, if even the poorest countries have universal access by then. But since a majority of the people living in poverty are citizens of G20 countries, the forecast by Cisco is that by 2020 only half of the world population will be online (4.1 billion Internet users, of a total population of 8 billion). By that date, the number of connected devices will have surpassed 26 billion, thanks to the fast expansion of the “Internet of Things”. 1

  • 1. Cisco (2017).