Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I’m Neil. And I'm Sam.
Now if you’re old enough to remember the early days of dial-up internet then you’ll know the unforgettable sound of the ‘handshake’,
the clicks and squeaks your computer made as it struggled to connect to the internet through the telephone line.
Yes, I remember that strange noise!
Dial-up internet was slow and websites took forever to load.
And because you couldn’t use both the internet and the telephone at the same time,
this was usually followed by someone shouting, "Get off the computer, I’m making a phone call!"
In the thirty years since then, the internet has changed dramatically.
Fibre optics and broadband have created superfast internet speeds and an interconnected online world,
where physical distances between people are no longer a barrier to communication,
a situation expressed in the phrase, the global village.
But take a closer look and you’ll still find people around the world with a slow connection or no internet at all.
In this programme we’ll be finding out how some communities are working together to fix their internet connection problems for the benefit of local people.
And, of course, we’ll be learning some new vocabulary too.
But before that I have a question for you, Sam.
We’ve been talking about the early days of the internet,
but do you know the name of the first ever internet browser, the engine for searching websites?
Was it: a) Ask Jeeves? b) WorldWideWeb? c) Yahoo?
是 a) Ask Jeeves？b) 万维网？还是 c) 雅虎？
I’ll guess it was c) Yahoo. OK, Sam. We’ll find out the answer later.
我猜是 c) 雅虎
You might think it's people living in the most remote and isolated places with the greatest difficulty getting online, but that’s not always true.
Even here in the UK people struggle to connect, including BBC radio listener, Katie,
who explained her problem to BBC World Service programme, Digital Planet.
Hi, I’m Katie. I live in Dorset in England.
Our internet can be quite spasmodic here,
and I think that that’s due to most of our underground cabling is very old and somewhat dodgy, tatty, and needs replacing.
Katie lives in Dorset, a rural part of south-west England.
She describes her internet connection as spasmodic – suddenly working but only for a short time and not in a regular way.
She thinks this is because her internet cables are dodgy, slang for bad or untrustworthy.
A dodgy internet connection might be irritating, but in other parts of the world the consequences can be more serious.
Aamer Hayat is farmer who lives in the Pakistani Punjab,
one of the country’s most fertile regions, but also one of the least connected.
His village is a three-hour drive from the nearest town, and he can’t make a phone call, even with 2G.
For Aamer, basic weather information like knowing when rain is coming can mean the difference between his crops succeeding or failing.
Without the internet he doesn’t have a reliable weather report,
so the villagers decided to build their own fifty-metre-high telephone transmission tower, linking a network of five villages to the internet.
Here is Aamer talking to BBC World Service programme, Digital Planet.
We used to do conventional farming like just getting information from the word-of-mouth.
Now, I’m using the latest technologies to have gadgets available with us and taking information right from the horse’s mouth, you can say,
through internet and technology we have in our hands.
So, this is what I’m doing in my farm practices.
Before the community-built tower brought the internet to his village,
Aamer got his weather report by word-of-mouth - information passed on by people telling each other.
Now, there’s stable internet that works
thanks to a tower high enough to pick up a telephone signal which it then sends into the villages via solar-powered receivers,
a type of gadget, meaning a small, electronic device which does something useful.
This means Aamer now gets his weather report straight from the horse's mouth,
an idiom meaning from a reliable source, or from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
“from the horse's mouth”是一个俚语，形容信息来源可靠，或者是专家说的
The internet brings reliable climatic information, which means a good harvest not just for Aamer and his family,
but for all the families living in the five connected villages.
It’s a great example of community action, and of people looking after each other,
something which may have been lost since the early, idealistic days of the internet.
And speaking of the early internet, it’s time to answer my question.
Remember, I asked you for the name of the very first internet browser.
I guessed it was c) Yahoo. So, was I right? You were… wrong, I’m afraid, Sam.
我猜是 c) 雅虎
Way back before Google, the first internet browser was called the WorldWideWeb,
invented by none other than cyber legend, Tim Berners-Lee,
who, I think, would be pleased to hear about Aamer’s community internet. Yes.
Right, let’s recap the vocabulary we’ve learnt
about internet connections between people living at a physical distance in the modern world, something described as the global village.
If your internet is spasmodic, it’s irregular, stopping then suddenly working for a short time.
In other words, it’s dodgy, a slang word meaning bad or unreliable.
If you know something by word-of-mouth, it’s been passed verbally from person to person.
Whereas if you hear it from the horse’s mouth, it’s come directly from a reliable source of information.
然而，如果你从马嘴里听说了某事，即“from the horse’s mouth”，那么这件事信息来源可靠
And finally, a gadget is a small, electronic device with a useful purpose.
Once again our six minutes are up. Bye for now! Bye!