The Internet is one of the most significant inventions of the modern times which has opened up incredible avenues and opportunities for people across the globe. The internet revolutionized how daily affairs as well as businesses are conducted. Today with the help of the click of a button you can transfer money, buy stuff online, read books, watch movies, do research, download songs, complete academics and all sorts of stuff thanks to the internet. As such the internet has become an integral part of peoples’ lives across societies and communities. For most of us it is very difficult to imagine a life without internet connectivity. However there are still a large number of people as well as multiple countries where there is no internet connectivity or very limited access to the internet.
There are approximately 13 countries and close to 4 billion people that are still without internet connectivity or limited connectivity. When these stats are laid out, it looks staggering considering internet has become such a necessary service across the board. So which are the countries that have limited or no access to the internet? Let us have a look.
Profiling the countries with limited or no internet connectivity
Some of the countries where you will have trouble accessing the internet include Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and Uzbekistan amongst others. We take a brief look at some of these countries and the status of internet connection in these nations. Limited internet in these regions is not always due to the same reasons. Sometimes the cause is lack of infrastructure in which case accessing the internet is difficult. In other cases governments attempt to censor the sites that they choose. While certain countries like to say that they censor content they don’t feel is good for the people such as pornography, sex sites, or hookup apps. However, the truth is they are not truly concerned about their citizens accessing free sex sites to find a fuck buddy. The censorship of adult content is often simply smoke and mirrors to veil attempts to censor information and limit access to information that doesn’t support state sponsored propaganda. Let’s take a look at countries with little or no internet access and some of the underlying reasons.
Belarus: In the years from 2006 to 2008, Belarus was categorized as “internet enemy” by the RWB. The Belarus government uses second or third generational controls for managing information space of Belarus. Pre 2006 most of the areas and regions in Belarus didn’t have any access to the internet. As of now, Minsk, which is the capital of Belarus is the most connected region in the nation and the internet connectivity in the rural areas is fairly limited or restricted.
North Korea: As per reporters without borders (RWB), North Korea is categorized in the list of “enemies of internet”. The internet status of North Korea is such that access is only granted to those who have special authorization from the government and even then the country has its own network which is called Kwangmyong. The number of users that have access to the internet in North Korea is low. Since the country falls under dictatorial regime, there are vast restriction on the free usage and connectivity of the internet. As per the estimations, there is only about 4% of the population in North Korea that has access to the internet. And even amongst those who have access to the internet connectivity, they are only allowed to browse specific and limited websites that are especially created or formulated by the government. In addition to this, every action or transaction that people do on the internet is closely monitored and observed by the respective authorities.
China: China is one of the largest consumers of internet in the world however the internet censorship in the country is extreme. The government in China have implemented in excess of 60 internet or online regulations that greatly curb the free internet experience. The officials monitor and track the access of internet by various individuals, and put a block on the website content where they deem it necessary. Some of the most popular websites such as Google, Facebook and You Tube are blocked or not available in China. The country provides its own personalized version of the social network websites, e-commerce sites and search which are also controlled as well as monitored by the authorities. As is the norm with various countries, China makes use of VPN to bypass the blockages so that they some of the banned stuff.
Cuba: The internet was first introduced in Cuba in the late 1990s and then later it got stagnated due to various reasons such as extreme government restrains and lack of appropriate funding. Even today there is high level of censorship by the government authorities who control the internet and its usage amongst the people of the country. As it stands, less than 50% of the population in Cuba has internet access and thus a majority of the people still don’t have internet connectivity. It is also important to note, that there is no mobile internet availability in the country thus people only have to rely on broadband and similar types of internet connectivity options.
Saudi Arabia: In Saudi Arabia there are some specific websites that are banned and others which are restricted owing to the administrations rules and regulations. There was a time when even Google translate and Wikipedia were banned since people were using them to bypass governments censors. The internet connectivity in Saudi Arabia is considered as low quality and expensive.