ITU report: uneven progress in bridging the global digital divide

The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Facts and Figures 2023 report reveals that global internet connectivity is progressing steadily but unevenly, highlighting the disparities of the digital divide.

Many flags of different countries

Steady but uneven progress in global internet connectivity exacerbates the disparities of the digital divide, particularly in low-income countries, according to ITU’s Facts and Figures 2023 report. The report tracks global connectivity by providing estimates on essential indicators such as infrastructure, affordability, gender, location, and now, global 5G network coverage and internet traffic data. It also highlights the need to address the glaring gaps in internet access and usage.

The report reveals that fixed-broadband services accounted for more than 80% of global internet traffic in 2022. This indicates that fixed networks dominate internet connectivity, commonly used in office and home settings. However, the report also underscores the significant divide between high- and low-income countries, where, very often, only one fixed-broadband subscription exists per 100 people nations. The absence of affordable prices and sufficient infrastructure is pivotal in hindering internet access in these countries.

Why does it matter?

The report highlights the urgency of achieving universal and meaningful connectivity and emphasises the need for concerted efforts to bridge the divide. Additionally, including new indicators on global 5G network coverage and internet traffic reflects ITU’s commitment to monitoring and evaluating global connectivity trends. Achieving universal and meaningful connectivity is deemed one of the most urgent objectives of our time, crucial for realising a sustainable future