The report, which has just been released, disclosed that least-developed countries (LDCs) will only achieve universal access to internet in 2042. This is way past the 2020 deadline set by member states of the United Nations (UN) in September 2015.
Dhanaraj Thakur, senior research manager and one of the authors of the A4AI report, said affordability of the Internet, cost of devices, and the gender pay gap between men and women in LDCs are the primary barriers to universal access.
“The price of Internet in LDCs is still too expensive. Even for people in developing countries, 5% of their monthly income for Internet access still proves to be a high cost. The Internet remains unaffordable for over 70 percent of people in the world’s least developed countries,” said Thakur.
The report noted that it will take over 26 years to make universal Internet access a reality.