GENEVA : Some 3.9 billion people are now using the Internet, meaning that for the first time more than half of the global population is online, the United Nations said on Friday.

The UN agency for  information and communication technologies, ITU, said that by the end of 2018 a full 51.2  percent of people around the world will be using the Internet.

''By the end of 2018, we will surpass the 50/50  milestone for  Internet use,'' the ITU chief Houlin Zhou said in a statement.

''This represents an important step towards a more inclusive global information society,'' he said, adding through that ''far too many people around the world are still waiting to reap the benefits of the digital economy.''

He called for more support to ''technology and business innovation so that the digital revolution leaves no one offline.''

According to ITU, the world's riches countries have been showing slow and steady growth in Internet use, which has risen from 51.3 percent of their populations in 2005 to 80.9 percent now. [AFP]


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