The eighth edition of the ITU Internet Reports, entitled "digital.life" was prepared especially for ITU TELECOM World 2006 (December 4-8 2006, Hong Kong)and is available now online. The report examines how innovation in digital technology is radically changing individual and societal lifestyles.
Chapter one: going digital outlines the meanings of "digital" and reflects on the many ways of being digital. Around one in every three people on the planet now carries a digital mobile phone around with them wherever they go. Globally, more hours are spent consuming digital media, such as the internet, than any analogue media, including television and radio. Digital technologies are transforming businesses and governments, and changing the ways we live and interact. We are witnessing what has been termed a “digital revolution”, which had its beginnings in the early 1980s and refers to the replacement of analogue devices and services with their digital successors. This technological shift has brought about considerable change in the human condition itself, especially in its socioeconomic and cultural aspects.
The transition from narrowband to broadband digital networks (figure below) is now well-advanced in the fixed-line world where there were some 216 million broadband subscribers across the world at the end of 2005, amounting to just over half the total number of internet subscribers and around one-fifth of total fixed lines.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, new challenges and important dilemmas arise for businesses and policy-makers. Private individuals, too, are faced with a bewildering number of choices for their information and communications needs.
If you are eager to discover more about these challenges as well as about the importance of being digital and digital ubiquity, you can download chapter one: going digital.
The full text of the report is available online at the digital.life website. For more information about the report, contact lara.srivastava(a)itu.int.