Roughly one quarter of the world’s population accesses the Internet on a regular basis, according to study from Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.

By 2012, IDC predicts one in three, or 1.9 billion people, will have regular Internet access. IDC published the findings this week in its 2008 Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast. China is leading the race with 275 million users this year.

The report also found users currently access the Internet through more than 1.5 billion devices. PCs are still the main source of access, although mobile devices are expected to surpass PC usage by 2012.

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Nearly one out of every two users will make an online purchase this year. IDC anticipates a billion online buyers by 2012, placing the value of B2C transactions at US$1.2 trillion. B2B eCommerce is expected to total $12.4 trillion by the same year.

Internet advertising accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all ad spending across all media this year and is expected to total $65.2 billion.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada