Even Through a Recession, We Want Our Web

Given recent economic challenges around the globe, one might conclude that demand for the web is down, but apparently that’s not the case. According to a report from research firm TeleGeography, international bandwidth usage continued to grow in spite of the global recession of the past few years. It notes that:

“International bandwidth usage increased 60 percent in 2009, in line with the past two years, and well ahead of the trend of 2002-2006. Growth has been particularly rapid in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. However, capacity requirements to seemingly mature markets, such as Europe and the U.S., have also grown at a compounded annual rate of more than 50 percent since 2002.”

Home and enterprise Internet access are surely driving demand, but the TeleGeography growth numbers from the Middle East, Africa and Latin American regions are undoubtedly being impacted by the mobile web. In emerging markets, it’s not uncommon for the primary information source to be a cellular phone connected to the web. That’s something I learned during Nokia’s CES keynote earlier this year — a moving experience that I’ve not forgotten.

Although the recession appears to be nearing an end in some areas of the world, the data has me wondering if readers would give up their Internet access — either home or mobile — before cutting back in other areas. There are too many scenarios to account for, so instead of running a poll here, leave us your thoughts in the comments. Would you give your web access during financially troubled times or is it one of the last items you’d drop in a cost-cutting measure?

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Why Carriers Can’t Afford to Wait for New Spectrum