The entire world will be connected to the internet by 2020, predicts Google’s Eric Schmidt


Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, has made an interesting prediction that you might see as an optimistic view of our future — or a downright impossible view that belongs in Crazy Town. Schmidt believes that by 2020, everyone on this earth will be connected to the internet.

“For every person online, there are two who are not. By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected.Think about how great the internet is with 2B users. Now think about how amazing it will be when 5B come online in a decade. #NewDigitalAge.”

Those are the things Eric Schmidt wrote on his Google+ page, and whether you believe it or not, he might not actually be too far off in his prediction. According to the International Telecommunication Union, 38% of the world’s population uses the internet in 2013. This is up 3 percent from 35% last year. If the rate that number grows only increases year over year, we might see more than half of the world’s population using the internet in 2020. And that’s without the rapid advances that are sure to come before the decade’s end!

One of the bigger issues here is that there are currently many people in the world who are more concerned with things like shelter, food and health — and using the internet will remain a luxury rather than a necessity. Google+ user named Mary M. reminded Schmidt of that in a comment on his post asking, “You really believe that? What about the millions in Africa who can’t even get enough food to eat or the natives in South America who have no idea what technology is? Maybe you should rephrase to those in civilized areas or something like that…”

She has a point, of course. But fortunately for Mary M.’s concerns, there are apparently numerous projects that are being undertaken around the world to help get more and more people connected. CNN‘s report mentions that Google’s Geeks Without Frontiers has been around for a decade now, and they’ve been donating computers and technology to poor areas around the world. Samsung is also doing its part in this endeavor by supporting a project that is turning old shipping containers into solar-powered classrooms connected to the web in South Africa.

So will we reach a world where everyone uses the internet by 2020? Maybe, maybe not. But at the rate things are going, we’re gonna come close. Real close.

[via CNN, image via LeWEB]

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  • davidroper

    [@davidroper] Sorry, My head and fingers were not together in my remark. I meant because they are religious aren’t they closer to “heaven” than we are, and haven’t they used that heaven “cloud” more than my heathen self. That was the joke, FAIL! I’ll do better next time.

  • Mike

    [@Seamus McSeamus] Ah, so sadly true, in one of the most “advanced” countries in the world . . . .

  • AFPhy6

    Though I would not say “all” in this context, I now believe that over 90% of people in the world will have easy access to internet by 2020… maybe at a library, or internet cafe of some type, but they will be able to easily do things like check EMail every day.

    When I first heard such predictions a couple years ago, I was startled and my first thought was “no way”. Given the propagation of inexpensive mobile phones and internet technology, I no longer think they are at all off base.

  • davidroper

    What? Weren’t they the first people to use the CLOUD? LOL

  • Luke

    [@Seamus McSeamus] Or the Amish peoples? A lot of Mennonites and Amish are against using the internet. That’s not going to change in the next 7 years.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    Nevermind outside the US, has he ever heard of Appalachia?

  • Mike

    Sorry, but–has Mr. Schmidt ever been outside the U.S?!? How about the billions of people in the less developed areas of Latin America, Africa and Asia? Maybe he will be sending them all Google Chromebooks (with satellite Internet coverage, of course) . . . .

  • davidroper

    Will trade one bucket of food for a laptop.