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Half of world population to have Internet access by 2019

More than half of the world’s population will be online by 2019, according to a new report by Cisco.

In four years’ time, an estimated 3.9 million people will be online out of a total global population of 7.6 billion, representing 51 per cent of people on earth. By contrast, today 39 per cent have online access.

Read more: How good is the UK’s broadband compared to the rest of the world?

According to the report, IP traffic is growing fastest in the Middle East and Africa, accelerating at a rate of 44 per cent between 2014 and 2019. In North America and Western Europe, traffic is forecast to grow at 20 and 21 per cent respectively.

Mobile devices are likely to be the main driving force behind the rise in connectivity across the globe, with mobile data traffic set to increase three times faster than fixed IP traffic over the five year period. Mobile data represented just four per cent of IP traffic in 2014, but this figure is predicted to hit 14 per cent by 2019.

The report also highlights the historical growth of the Internet, which has increased rapidly over the last few years. Global Internet traffic was just 100GB per day in 1992, but last year stood at 16,144 GBps. It is expected to reach 51,794 GBps by 2019.

The increase in the number of people online is likely to place increased strain on the world’s network infrastructure, with improvements needed to ensure sufficient bandwidth for the growing number of people and devices connected to the Internet.

Read more: China to invest billions on improving Internet speeds

Parts of the world that are already online will also be pleased to note that Cisco forecasts the average global Internet speed to increase by 2019. In fact, fixed broadband speed is set to more than double from 20.3 Mbps to 43 Mbps.