story.cyber.crime.courtesyIf the internet is feeling a little more crowded these days, there’s good reason.

According to a report out Tuesday, there will be 2 billion Web dwellers by the end of this year.

The number of internet users worldwide has doubled in the past five years according to the report, from the International Telecommunication Union.

Much of the big number can be attributed to internet growth in developing countries. The report said 162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will live in those countries, where Web access is still growing.

But the gap between access in high-tech countries and those still developing remains big.

About 65 percent of Europeans are on the internet, the report said, compared to less than 10 percent of Africans.

The report also focuses on the growing availability of, and demand for, faster broadband service, which allows users to easily download or share larger files, such as photos and videos.

The ITU, an agency of the United Nations that monitors communication technology issues, said these high-speed internet connections, which are increasingly needed to view modern Web content efficiently, are the key to continued growth.

“Broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology,” Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said in a written statement. “It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity, and underpin long-term economic competitiveness.”

Only about 8 percent of the world will have broadband access this year, according to the report.