Technology excluding


Fatima Imam Baksh
According to the United Nations, approximately 3 billion people or 37% of the world’s population – have never used the Internet, even though Covid 19 epidemic is driving people online. The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that 96% of the 2.9 billion people without internet access live in developing countries. The agency estimates that the number of people going online increased from 4.1 billion in 2019 to 4.9 billion this year, in part due to “Covid Connectivity Boost”. But even among those Internet users, millions of people rarely go online with shared devices or face connection speeds that hinder their Internet use. In the first year of the Covid crisis, the number of users worldwide increased by more than 10% – the largest annual increase in a decade. The International Telecommunication Union has indicated that measures such as closures, school closures and the need for access to remote banking services. But progress is uneven. Internet access is often unaffordable in poor countries – nearly one-third of the 46 least developed countries are not online. As gender differences become more pronounced in developing countries, young people, men and urban dwellers use the Internet more than older adults, women and those living in rural areas. The ITU added that poverty, illiteracy, limited access to electricity and a lack of digital skills continued to challenge “digital exclusion”.