Internet to exceed 2 billion users this year

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According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Internet will claim home to two billion users by the end of this year. That's nearly a third of the world's total population (currently estimated at about 6.9 billion) converging on one digital medium. The number of people online has doubled over the last five years, and the organization estimates that more than 226 million people joined the party in 2010 alone.

At that growth rate, the ITU believes more than half of all people will be online in the next five years. By the end of 2010, about 71% of the population in developed countries will be online compared to 21% of the population in developing regions. Some 65% of Europeans will be online this year, which compares to 55% in the Americas, 21.9% in Asia Pacific, and 9.6% in Africa. About 8% of those users will have access to broadband speeds.

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