Internet Society global Internet report 2017: paths to our digital future

18 Sep 2017

The Internet has profoundly shaped our world and has changed our lives in both big and small ways. The technology change around us has happened both quickly and imperceptibly. The very first connections between computers nearly fifty years ago have been transformed into a wave of connectivity that covers the planet. New devices and innovations have given us more ways to harness the power of connectivity wherever we go and have given us functionality we could never have imagined.

We shouldn't underestimate the fundamental changes that faster, more affordable access to the Internet has already brought and will continue to bring to humanity. The question is whether we are ready for what's coming next.

Now is a big moment for the Internet. As we engaged with our community in the development of this report, it became clear that people are anxious about the future of the Internet. Some see a frightening future that awaits us in a technology-driven world. There are conflicting views around whether the Internet is a positive or a negative influence and while it becomes more and more central to our modern lives, we find that some are beginning to reject the globalised world view that it has fostered. On the other hand, communities just coming online see the Internet as "life" - as their connection to opportunity and freedom - and they want a chance to influence its future.

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