The new study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of Facebook, reports the Guardian. It concluded that almost $7 trillion would be added to the global economy and 500 million people would be lifted out of poverty after five years if all of the planet’s remaining 4.1 billion people currently without Internet access got access to it. Surprisingly, the report found that the primary barrier isn’t infrastructure—it’s cost. Even most developing countries already have networks in place that would support Internet access for their entire populations, but the cost of that access keeps people offline. The report says that for 66% of the world Internet access is unaffordable; on average a 500MB data plan costs more than 5% of a person’s monthly income.MG
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