ITU (International Telecommunication Union), an UN agency expects 2 billion or more people to be online by late 2010.
This means that no more than a third of the World's population will have direct Internet access by the end of this year.
The agency, a neutral organization for information and telecommunication technology affiliated to the UN, has recently issued its facts and figures report
about the current year.
ITU highlights that since 2005, the number of Internet users around the Globe has doubled, all in all thanks to the wide adoption of broadband technology not only in business environments, but for home connections.
In some countries like Finland, Spain and Estonia, Internet access has been legalized as a people's right, and must be supplied as a must-have service, just like water, electricity, heating and food.
Unfortunately the situation is not like this in all countries, ITU sounding the alarm on Africa's Internet adoption rate, which is estimated to get at 9.6 per 100 inhabitants by the end of 2010, way below the global average.
In this regard, Europe with 65 and the Americas with 55 are at the top of the rankings.
But the discrepancies in Internet usage are even bigger between developed (71% adoption) and developing countries (21% adoption), mainly because of major gaps in bandwidth costs and per-capita revenue.
Broadband adoption is also different in developed countries, 24.6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, compared to developing countries where there are 4.4 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
Despite all the Internet-friendly figures, mobile phones have the edge when it comes to connecting people and as a communications technology, currently 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions being registered around the Globe, with no more than 940 million of them being for 3G services.
With SMS numbers tripling over the past 3 years, communication service providers will still concentrate more on getting people with a phone in their hand, than delivering a broadband connection at their home.
A complete ITU “The World in 2010” report can be viewed here