Global potential of the Internet remains largely untapped, says the UN agency for digital technology

The UN agency for digital technology highlights in a report the global disparity in internet access, emphasizing the need for universal, meaningful connectivity to address economic disparities and foster development. It seeks to create conditions supporting global prosperity through inclusivity and digital transformation.

A new report published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) revealed a growing ‘connectivity canyon’ emerging between the hyperconnected and the ‘digitally destitute’, with more than one-third of humanity still totally offline. According to the ITU Global Connectivity Report 2022, despite the fact that easy, affordable access to fast broadband is near-ubiquitous in most rich-world nations, an array of humanity is still excluded from the immense possibilities offered by the online experience, restricting economic development, and expanding global inequalities. To this aim, the report calls for putting ‘universal and meaningful connectivity’ – defined as the possibility of a safe, satisfying, enriching, productive, and affordable online experience for everyone – at the core of global development. ‘Equitable access to digital technologies isn’t just a moral responsibility, it’s essential for global prosperity and sustainability. We need to create the right conditions, including promoting environments conducive to investment, to break cycles of exclusion and bring digital transformation to all,’ said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.