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The total number of global internet users has reached the two billion mark, latest figures have indicated.

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which works on behalf of the United Nations, there were 2.08 billion web users worldwide at the end of 2010.

This was up from 1.86 billion in 2009, and highlights the rapid growth of broadband penetration in the developing world.

ITU Head Hamadoun Toure said significant progress had been made over the course of the last decade.

"At the beginning of the year 2000 there were only 500 million mobile subscriptions globally and 250 million internet users," he noted.

"By the beginning of this year 2011 those numbers have mushroomed to over five billion mobile users and two billion subscribers to the internet."

Earlier this week, a report from Idate predicted that global mobile broadband coverage will increase from 20 per cent penetration to 37 per cent by 2015.

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