The English-speaking world has long dominated the Internet, but a fundamental shift will soon occur, according to a new report from the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, an organization created in 2010 at the behest of the United Nations.

According to the commission’s analysis, “if current growth rates continue, the total number of Internet users accessing the Internet in Chinese may overtake the number of Internet users predominantly using English in 2015.”

As it stands now, English speakers account for 27 percent of total global Internet users, while the Chinese constitute 24 percent. Spanish lags in third place at 8 percent.

This data was one of several insights published in the commission’s new report, The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All, which is available for free download.

Other information and projections of note include:

  • The number of smartphones worldwide is expected to exceed 3 billion by 2017.
  • There are 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, so that nearly three-fourths of humanity has access to a mobile phone.
  • Nearly a third of countries don’t have national broadband plans.
  • By 2020, connected devices may outnumber connected people 6 to 1, making an “Internet of Things” a reality.
  • A half of all active Internet users in 2012 access social networks.
  • One-third of the world’s population is now online.

Here are some more of the Broadband Commission’s findings: