A new report from the United Nations has put the Philippines at 57th place among 160 countries surveyed in the area of household broadband penetration with just about 23 out of 100 homes having access to broadband Internet.
The list was topped by South Korea, which continues to have the world?s highest household broadband penetration at over 98 percent, up from 97 percent last year.
While the Philippines was ranked 110th in fixed broadband infrastructure with an atrocious 2.6 penetration rate, the country had a more respectable ranking at 79th place in mobile broadband with 20.3 penetration rate.
In terms of overall Internet user penetration, the Philippines was at 106th spot with only 37 out of 100 Filipinos having access to the Internet.
The report, released on Monday, Sept. 22, in New York at the 10th meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, revealed that more than 40 percent of the world?s people are already online, with the number of Internet users rising from 2.3 billion in 2013 to 2.9 billion by the end of this year.
Over 50 percent of the global population will have Internet access within three years? time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the report.
Over 2.3 billion people will access mobile broadband by end 2014, climbing steeply to a predicted 7.6 billion within the next five years, it said.
There are now over three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions. The popularity of broadband-enabled social media applications continues to soar, with 1.9 billion people now active on social networks, it noted.
Produced annually by the Broadband Commission, the report is a global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by country data measuring broadband access against key advocacy targets set by the 54 members of the commission.
Monaco now surpasses last year?s champion, Switzerland, as the world leader in fixed broadband penetration, at over 44 percent of the population.
There are now four economies (Monaco, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands) where penetration exceeds 40 percent, up from just one (Switzerland) in 2013.
The US ranks 19th globally in terms of number of people online, ahead of other developed countries like Germany (20th) and Australia (21st), but behind the United Kingdom (12th), Japan (15th) and Canada (16th).
The US has slid from 20th to 24th place for fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Japan but ahead of Macao (China) and Estonia.
In total, there are now 77 countries where over 50 percent of the population is online, up from 70 in 2013. The top ten countries for Internet use are all located in Europe, with Iceland ranked first in the world with 96.5 percent of people online.
The lowest levels of Internet access are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, with Internet available to less than 2 percent of the population in Ethiopia (1.9 percent), Niger (1.7 percent), Sierra Leone (1.7 percent), Guinea (1.6 percent), Somalia (1.5 percent), Burundi (1.3 percent), Eritrea (0.9 percent) and South Sudan (no data available).
The list of the ten least-connected nations also includes Myanmar (1.2 percent) and Timor Leste (1.1 percent).
?As we look towards the post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is imperative that we not forget those who are being left behind,? said ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I. Tour?, who serves as co-vice chair of the commission with Unesco director-general Irina Bokova.
?Broadband uptake is accelerating, but it is unacceptable that 90 percent of people in the world?s 48 Least Developed Countries remain totally unconnected. With broadband Internet now universally recognized as a vital tool for social and economic development, we need to make connectively a key development priority, particularly in the world?s poorest nations.
?Connectivity is not a luxury for the rich ? rather, it is the most powerful tool mankind has ever had at its disposal to bridge development gaps in areas like health, education, environmental management and gender empowerment,? Tour? said.
?Despite the phenomenal growth of the Internet, despite its many benefits, there are still too many people who remain unconnected in the world?s developing countries,? said Bokova.
?Providing Internet connectivity to everyone, everywhere, will take determined policy leadership and investment. As we focus on infrastructure and access, we must also promote the rights skills and diversity of content, to allow women and men to participate in building and participating in knowledge societies.?
The State of Broadband 2014 is the third edition of the commission?s annual report. Released annually in September in New York, it is the only report that features country-by-country rankings based on access and affordability for over 160 economies worldwide.