The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is estimating that about 41% of households worldwide will get access to the internet by the end of 2013.

According to the ITU, household internet penetration ? often considered the most important measure of internet access ? continues to rise and ?By end 2013, ITU estimates that 41% of the world?s households will be connected to the internet.?

The ITU observed that over the past four years, household access has grown fastest in Africa, with an annual growth rate of 27% but despite a positive general trend, 90% of the 1.1 billion households around the world that are still unconnected are in the developing world.

The UN specialised agency disclosed in its ?The World in 2013: ICT Facts and Figures? report released a couple of weeks ago at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

The Union also predicts that 2.7 billion people or 39% of the world?s population will be using the internet by end 2013.

Internet access, however, will remain limited in the developing world, with only 31% of the population forecast to be online at the end of 2013, compared with 77% in the developed world, it added.

The ITU indicated that Europe will remain the world?s most connected region with 75% Internet penetration, largely outpacing Asia and the Pacific (32%) and Africa (16%).

On internet broadband pricing, the report noted that the cost of fixed-broadband services has dropped over the past five years, declining by 82% if measured as a share of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

It however said residential fixed-broadband services in developing countries remain expensive, accounting for just over 30% of average monthly GNI per capita ? compared to just 1.7% of average national income in wealthy countries.

By Ekow Quandzie/ghanabusinessnews.com

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