The new 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that there are now more than 4 billion people around the world using the internet.  Over half of the world’s population is now online, with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017.

The report notes that there are now some thirty-six million people in Central Asia (some 86 percent of the whole population of Central Asia’s five nations)using internet, according to CANN.  

Kazakhstan reportedly tops Central Asia’s nations in terms of Internet accessibility.  By 2018, some 80 percent (more than 14 million people) of Kazakhstan’s population has had access to Internet.  In terms of Internet penetration, only Kazakhstan exceeds the global rate (53 percent).  

In Central Asia, nationals of Turkmenistan reportedly have the lowest access to Internet.  By the beginning of this year, only two out of ten nationals of Turkmenistan have had access to Internet.  The number of people in Turkmenistan having access to Internet is 15 times lower than in Kazakhstan, 14 times lower than in Uzbekistan, three times lower than in Tajikistan and two times lower than in Kyrgyzstan.

It is to be noted that the Internet was first available in Tajikistan in 1999, through a single service provider in the capital Dushanbe. Since then the number of Internet service providers (ISPs) has grown.  Internet access in Tajikistan is primarily available in large cities and towns, such as Dushanbe, Khujand in the north, Kulob in the south and Hisor in the central region.