According a new report by the United Nations, 44% of the world’s population will have access to the Internet by the close of 2015. This figure represents a total of 3.2 billion people who can surf the web, compared to a measly 400 million back in 2000. The flip side of this seemingly-positive outcome is that there are still four billion people on the planet who cannot get online; moreover, only 15% of the citizenry of poorly developed nations currently enjoy the fruits of Internet access.

Help may be on the way for the world’s disconnected folk, who often suffer from living in remote areas that are nearly inaccessible to the usual methods of getting connected. Google is developing Project Loon, a scheme that involves sending Internet-beaming balloons into the sky. Facebook, meanwhile, is in the midst of testing solar-powered drones that would fly above the more isolated areas of the globe to provide Internet signals.

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