More than 4.4 billion people across the world are without access to the Internet, a new research report conducted by McKinsey & Company and Facebook has revealed.
The report titled “Offline and falling behind: Barriers to Internet adoption,” noted that it will take the concerted effort of companies, governments, and civil society to remove barriers that stand in the way of achieving a more connected world. The study identified incentives, low incomes and affordability, user capability and infrastructure as the barriers to connecting the world.
The study found that 4.4 billion people are without Internet access and 3.4 billion of them live within 20 countries. The offline population majorly comprises rural, low income, elderly, illiterate and female. For instance, between 1.1 billion and 2.8 billion people are out of range of an existing mobile network; 920 million people offline are illiterate; and, in developing countries, women are 25 percent less likely to be connected than men.
An estimated 3.8 billion to 4.2 billion individuals will still lack access to the Internet in 2017. India contributes the highest number to the unconnected population with over 1 billion offline people.
As part of the effort to address the barriers to Internet access, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO will give a keynote address at the first Internet.org Summit in New Delhi, India next week. He will also meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to collaborate on ways to accelerate connectivity in India, according to Facebook.