More than half of the global population have no internet connection header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Almost one in ten Londoners (eight per cent) don’t have any form of internet connection despite the English capital being the world’s most connected major city.

A report commissioned to mark the first ever World Wi-Fi Day also revealed that more than half of the global urban population (57 per cent) have no fixed or mobile broadband connection; that’s thought to be some 2.2 billion people.

Even in seemingly advanced cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Shanghai, around one in four people remain unconnected, the report found.

Affordability and social inequality are deemed to be the main causes of this surprisingly high proportion of offline citizens, with many struggling to stump up the cash for a broadband service or a connectable device.

However, factors such as age, computer literacy, access to computers also played a part.

Nigeria’s Lagos, where almost two-thirds of people live on less than 85p a day, was considered the world’s least connected city (88.2%), with 10.1 million people offline.

Europe has lowest percentage of urban unconnected citizens (17%) while Middle East and Africa has the highest (82%).

Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, which commissioned the research, said that there is “a clear divide between the digital haves and the digital have-nots”.

“While this divide generally mirrors socioeconomic trends around the world, there are surprisingly high levels of urban unconnected citizens in major cities,” she added.

Shenwai hoped that World Wi-Fi Day would drive cities, governments, operators and technology companies to work together to help deliver affordable, sustainable connectivity for everyone around the world.