Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

3.2 billion people connected to Internet by end of 2015: Facebook

A study on global Internet access also says that globally, 4.1 billion people were still not Internet users as of 2015

New Delhi: Nearly 3.2 billion people in the world were connected to the Internet by the end of 2015, up from 3 billion a year ago, Facebook Inc. said in an updated blog post on Monday.

In the second annual study, A Report on Global Internet Access, the California-based company said over the past 10 years, connectivity had increased by 200 to 300 million people per year.

The report partly attributed this increase to more affordable data and rising global incomes.

This means, the study said, globally, 4.1 billion people were still not Internet users as of 2015. The four key barriers to Internet access include lack of accessibility or proximity of the necessary infrastructure required for access, the high cost of access relative to income, absence of primary language content and the capacity to access it, including skills, awareness and cultural acceptance, it said.

To address the barriers to connectivity, the study noted that corporations, governments, NGOs and non-profits need to work together to continue gathering more accurate data on the state of global connectivity, and develop global standards for collecting, reporting, and distributing this data.

Facebook has collaborated with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University to produce detailed maps showing the population distribution of 20 countries.

“These maps were created using new machine learning techniques and show the most accurate estimates of population distribution and settlements available to date," the company said. “This data will give us a greater understanding of how populations are dispersed, so governments and others can prioritize investments in infrastructure, from transportation to healthcare and education."

“It can also help rapid response times during emergencies and other disasters and inform our understanding of the ecological impact of growth," the company said adding that it will also help guide Facebook’s Connectivity Lab.

Facebook said it will open source the detailed population estimates later this year.

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