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WSIS Forum 2023: High-Level Policy Session 10

March 15 @ 10:00 CET

Globally, over 1 billion new Internet users have been added over the last five years. Yet under half the world’s people (3.7 billion) do not use the Internet. Many of them live in least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and small island developing states (SIDS).
According to the latest ITU data, 87% of people are using the Internet in developed countries, compared with 44% in developing countries. While virtually all urban areas in the world are covered by a mobile-broadband network, worrying gaps in connectivity and Internet access persist in rural areas. Globally, 72% of households in urban areas has access to the Internet at home, almost twice as much as in rural areas (38%).
Connectivity gaps in rural areas are especially serious in LDCs, where 17% of the rural population live in areas with no mobile coverage at all, and 19% of the rural population is covered by only a 2G network.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing digital divides between and within countries related to age, disability, gender, geography and socioeconomic status. With many essential services pushed online, there is a real and present danger that those without broadband Internet access could be left ever further behind.

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March 15
10:00 CET
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