October 20, 2010

Internet users to pass two billion this year

by Jan Harris

The Internet is unrecognisable from its origins in the 1960s when the Advanced Research Projects Agency connected four US universities on what was then called the Arpanet.

Now, just forty years later, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is estimating that the Internet as we now know it will be used by over two billion people by the end of 2010.

The numbers have increased from around 1.4 billion users last year, helped by the growth in broadband networks.

The ITU also noted the growth in mobile internet access which is now available to 90 per cent of the world’s population.

There is still a digital divide, with the developed world continuing to race ahead of developing countries, although two thirds of this year’s 226 million new Internet users came from the developing world.

With technology advancing so quickly, it is difficult to see where the Internet will go from one.

One thing is certain though, people will always want to communicate with each other and share knowledge, so the future of the Internet is some form seems secure; the challenge will be to make sure it remains an open system.

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