Internet Use Expanding in Least Developed Countries
It can be difficult to live in the 21st century without using the internet, a smartphone or other digital device.
A new report shows that electronic banking, internet marketing and other online activities are no longer just for people in rich countries.
The report comes from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations. It notes that hundreds of millions of people in the world's poorest countries are now using the internet and mobile technology.
The ITU said that all 47 of the world's least developed countries are making progress in increasing Internet access to their citizens. And more than 60 percent of the people there are able to use a 3G network. The term 3G means the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunication technology.
The report said that by the end of 2017, about 700 million people in the least developed countries had signed up for a plan with a mobile phone service provider. In those areas, 80 percent of the population lives within range of a mobile cellular network.
Given this progress, the ITU praised the growth of digital technology. It said the world's least developed countries are on their way to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goal on universal and affordable Internet access by 2020.
Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell is with the ITU. She told VOA that digital connectivity can provide valuable knowledge and information to populations around the world.
"It gives farmers access to information on crops, when to plant their crops, weather patterns that are happening. It provides access to online education to communities...It can make micro- and small- and medium-sized enterprises be able to compete with larger businesses."
The ITU said universal and low-cost internet access can help the poorest countries move forward in fields like education, health and trade.
While the findings sound hopeful, the report identified the lack of digital skills as a barrier to information communication technology and Internet use in poor areas.
The ITU called on policy makers, industry leaders and educators to work together to increase digital skills across the least developed countries.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.electronic banking 电子银行
There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking.
2.no longer 不再
She no longer feared that they should misunderstand her.
3.have access to 接近；有权进入
They now have access to the mass markets of Japan and the UK.
4.hundreds of millions of 数以亿计的
The floods made hundreds of millions of people lose their homes, relatives and friends.
5.The report said that by the end of 2017, about 700 million people in the least developed countries had signed up for a plan with a mobile phone service provider.
signed up 签订
Have you signed up for next week's class?
I have signed up for the free.
6.The report said that by the end of 2017, about 700 million people in the least developed countries had signed up for a plan with a mobile phone service provider.
by the end of 到...为止
By the end of the holiday I had spent all my money.
By the end of that first year, I knew how totally unsuited we were to each other.
该报告出自联合国下属机构——国际电信联盟 。报告指出，世界上最贫穷国家的数亿人口现开始使用互联网和移动技术 。
国际电信联盟表示，所有47个最不发达国家在提升公民接入互联网领域取得进展 。超过60%的当地人可以使用3G网络 。“3G”是指第三代无线移动通信技术 。
报告指出，截至2017年底，在最不发达国家中，约有7亿人与手机移动服务商签订了上网合约 。在这些地区，80%的人生活在移动蜂窝网络的覆盖范围内 。
考虑到这一进展，国际电信联盟对数字技术的发展给予了高度评价 。该机构表示，全球最不发达国家力争“在2020年前实现联合国可持续发展和价格合理的互联网接入”目标 。
詹妮弗·弗格森 - 米切尔（Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell）就职于国际电信联盟 。她对美国之音表示，数字连接能够为全球各地的人们提供有价值的知识和信息 。