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Bell Labs CTO Issues Call to Action

By Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

Forty-three percent of the world’s population has some form of regular access to the Internet – which means that 57 percent do not.

Ninety percent of those 4.2 billion people without access live in the developing world, and in the least developed countries less than one person in 10 is online. Meanwhile, in the developed world, 82 percent of the population is online.

These statistics are laid out in a new blog by Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and the CTO of Alcatel-Lucent, who in his piece calls on people and companies to do their part to help the Broadband Commission achieve its goals to flatten the digital playing field across the globe and among different groups of people. In his blog, Weldon talks about the problem that the “digital deserts” that exist today play in setting up a long-term environment in which one set of people can collaborate, communicate, and conduct commerce, and another group of people – to whom he refers as “an analog underclass,” operate primarily in physical space, and if they do want to connect digitally have to wander from connected oasis to connected oasis.

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