SpaceX just made global internet coverage a reality when it successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket on 23 May, 2019 which sent 60 internet-beaming satellites into space. According to a report, the 60 satellites which was tucked on the nose of the rocket is only the first batch of SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellations, which the company is confident will provide the world with reliable and affordable high-speed broadband services. SpaceX, also announced in a tweet that it is targeting up to 9 launches this year to accelerate its deployment goals.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).
The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.
The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.