More than 25% of world's population now online
International Telecommunication Union report states broadband subscribers will reach 1.1 billion by the end of 2009
More than a quarter of the world's population is now connected to the internet, the International Telecommunication Union has stated in their latest report.
Fixed broadband subscriber numbers are now predicted to reach an estimated 500 million by the end of 2009, while mobile broadband subscriptions will also increase to top 600 million.
That brings the total number of people logging on to the internet to 1.1 billion through broadband lines alone, not taking into account those that use other connectivity options such as dial-up.
ITU claims that more than a quarter of the world's population, which presently stands at about 6.7 billion, are now online and using the internet.
Growth of high-speed internet differs greatly in developing nations and mature markets - in Africa there is only one fixed broadband subscriber for every 1,000 inhabitants, while in Europe there are some 200 subscribers per 1,000 people.
"We are encouraged to see so much growth across developed and developing regions, but there is still a large digital divide, and an impending broadband divide, which needs to be addressed urgently," commented Sami Al Basheer, director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.