A couple of weeks ago, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt suggested on Twitter that everyone will be on the internet by 2020.
This tweet was part of the promotion for Schmidt’s new book, The New Digital Age, where he and co-author Jared Cohen assert that if the pace of technology is maintained, nearly 8 billion people will be on the internet by 2025.
Data show how blindingly fast we’re charging toward a time when the entire globe will be connected. In 1995, a scant 6 million people were online, and by 2005 the number was estimated to have reached 1 billion. Today, there are more than a billion users in Asia alone.
But there’s reason to think that complete connectivity is a longer ways off.
With poor and developing nations around the world isolated by crumbling or nonexistent Web infrastructures, and others hindered by factors ranging from remote geography to government censorship, is Schmidt’s vision overly optimistic?… Maybe. But don’t rule it out.