ITU research indicates that
targeting students may be the most effective way to increase Internet
use in developing countries. The Internet is only used by an around
21 per cent of the population in the developing world, compared with
almost 70 per cent in developed countries.
The Measuring the
Information Society 2011 report suggests that the main barriers to
Internet use are not always related to infrastructure and price.
Usage patterns show major differences related to education, gender,
income, age and geographical location of users (urban/rural). For
example, there is remarkably little difference in patterns of
Internet use among highly educated, high-income individuals across
the developing and developed worlds. People with higher educational
degrees use the Internet more than those with a lower level of
education, and in most countries more men than women are online.
Young people (below the age
of 25) are online more than older people, and there is a higher level
of Internet use among those currently in school compared with those
no longer studying. Assuming that people will continue using the
Internet once they have become accustomed to being online, those
currently enrolled at school or university are more likely to be
future Internet users, too. For young people all over the world,
social networking and user-created content like blogs have become key
drivers of Internet uptake.
Given that 46 per cent of the
population in developing countries is below the age of 25
(representing more than 2.5 billion people), the report suggests that
one of the most effective ways to increase Internet use in these
countries is by targeting the younger generation – for example
through connecting schools and other educational institutions, and
improving enrolment rates.
(Source: ITU Newsroom)Further details