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UN: worldwide internet users hit two billion, cellphone subscriptions top five billion

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The UN's International Telecommunication Union predicted last fall that the number of internet users worldwide would hit two billion by the end of 2010, and it's now issued its full report that confirms just that -- 2.08 billion, to be specific. As the ITU's Hamadoun Toure notes, that number represents a huge leap from the mere 250 million internet users that existed a decade ago, and it means that roughly one third of the world's population now has internet access of some sort -- of those, 555 million have a fixed broadband subscription, and 950 million have mobile broadband. Just as impressive as that (if not moreso), are the number of cellphone subscriptions worldwide, which has now crossed the five billion mark. That's up from 500 million at the beginning of the year 2000, although the agency notes that it's only accounted for "subscriptions," and not individual users. Any way you slice it, however, that's quite a record of growth for the first decade of the 21st century.

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