25 years ago, on August 23, 1991, a British computer scientist made the World Wide Web available to the public. Tim Berners-Lee, who was then working at CERN, could not have imagined the impact his actions would have on the world over the next two and a half decades. Honoring this milestone in the history of the internet, August 23 has become known as Internaut Day.
However, even 25 years after what some call its inception, the World Wide Web is not nearly as universally available as its name suggests. According to the latest estimates by the International Telecommunication Union
, a UN agency specializing in information and communication technologies, only 47 in 1oo world citizens use the internet these days. While internet access in regions such as North America and Europe has become a commodity not unlike electricity and running water, people in less developed regions often still lack access to what has arguably become the most important source of information of our times.
The chart below shows how widely internet penetration still varies across different world regions.