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UN warning on growing digital 'chasm'

From BBC - September 15, 2017

The digital divide separating developed and developing nations is in danger of becoming a chasm, warns a UN report.

The divide has grown thanks to accelerating net connection speeds in developed nations and static ones elsewhere, it said.

And 52% of the world's population still has no access to the internet, said the organisation's Global Broadband Progress report.

Improved net access was a key driver of other social goals, it said.

No access

The average global net access speed was now about 7.2 megabits per second (mbps), said the report which looks at how broadband, mobile phones and other communication technologies are used around the world.

However, it added, that headline figure masked significant differences between nations. In general, it said, net connection speeds in more developed nations were rising faster than elsewhere.

For instance, it said, the average access speed in South Korea was now about 28.6mbps and peak speeds of more than 184mbps had been seen in Singapore.

By contrast line speeds in many developing nations, such as the 1.5mbps available in Nigeria, had not improved significantly since the last UN broadband report was released last year.

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