UN report: 1 in 8 worldwide have mobile broadband

GENEVA (AP) ? A United Nations report has found that about one in eight people around the world can now connect to the Internet wherever and whenever they want to.

The report released Thursday by the International Telecommunication Union has found that active mobile broadband subscriptions surged to 872 million last year, from 531 million in 2009.

In rich countries almost every second person has a high-speed mobile subscription while in poor countries it’s still just one in every 20 people.

But poor countries showed the sharpest rise. Growth was 160 percent year-on-year as customers passed up costly fixed-line broadband connections in favor of affordable cell phone plans that allow them to access the Web, email and other online services on the go.