1 Percent Use Half of World's Bandwidth

Not only is there growing income inequality—now there's network inequality. The top 1 percent of consumers use up half of the world's wireless bandwidth, according to data from Arieso, an English company that advises mobile operators. The top 10 percent of users even consume 90 percent of the mobile airwaves. The gap between extreme users and the rest is growing—in 2009, the top 3 percent used only 40 percent of network traffic, while they now use 70 percent. Lest protesters suggest "Occupy the Downlink," Arieso says usage doesn't break down along socioeconomic lines. The survey also found that 64 percent of extreme users operate on a laptop, while a third were on smartphones and 3 percent had an iPad.