Global Net population heads for one billion

More than 1 billion people will have Internet access by 2005, according to a recently-released report from eTForecasts. The company claims 414 million people had Internet access at the end of 2000 and predicts that figure will almost triple to 1.17 billion by 2005. This growth will be driven by increasing penetration in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

About 730 million of the people accessing the Internet in 2005 will be using wireless devices to go online, eTForecasts predicts. This figure may seem overly optimistic but the company comments that wireless access will be the primary, or the only, form of Internet access available in many developing countries.

The US will have 214 million users in 2005 and 83 million, or 39 per cent of these will use wireless devices. In Europe, 68 per cent of the predicted 246 million Internet users will have wireless access.

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