According to Vint Cerf, via the Guardian on August 17, 2008:
The internet is still very young. It was only November 1977 when a group of computer scientists successfully connected three networks around the world, including one at University College London. It took until 1989 for the internet to become commercially available and about another decade after that for it to achieve widespread household use in Europe and the United States.
… Today, there are only about 1.4 billion users, representing a bit more than one-fifth of the world’s population, and a substantial amount of the content on the web is still written in English. But the internet is becoming more global. Asia has more than 500 million users and Europe nearly 400 million and internet-enabled mobile phones will help extend the net to Africa, Latin America and the Indian subcontinent.
… There are more than three billion mobiles in use today and more than 80 per cent of the world’s population live within range of a network. In areas where wireline or WiFi access barely exists, many new users will first experience the internet through a mobile phone.
with thanks to Slashdot for the link.