[ti:Internet Use Expanding in Least Developed Countries] [by:www.51voa.com] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.12]It can be difficult to live in the 21st century without using the internet, [00:06.36]a smartphone or other digital device. [00:11.04]A new report shows that electronic banking, internet marketing [00:16.03]and other online activities are no longer just for people in rich countries. [00:23.52]The report comes from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), [00:28.16]an agency of the United Nations. [00:31.80]It notes that hundreds of millions of people in the world's [00:37.29]poorest countries are now using the internet and mobile technology. [00:43.64]The ITU said that all 47 of the world's least developed countries [00:50.48]are making progress in increasing Internet access to their citizens. [00:55.96]And more than 60 percent of the people there are able to use a 3G network. [01:03.76]The term 3G means the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunication technology. [01:12.96]The report said that by the end of 2017, [01:16.88]about 700 million people in the least developed countries [01:21.28]had signed up for a plan with a mobile phone service provider. [01:27.32]In those areas, 80 percent of the population lives within range of a mobile cellular network. [01:36.44]Given this progress, the ITU praised the growth of digital technology. [01:44.24]It said the world's least developed countries are on their way [01:49.10]to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goal [01:52.74]on universal and affordable Internet access by 2020. [01:58.28]Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell is with the ITU. [02:03.04]She told VOA that digital connectivity can provide [02:07.54]valuable knowledge and information to populations around the world. [02:13.68]"It gives farmers access to information on crops, when to plant their crops, [02:19.08]weather patterns that are happening. [02:21.04]It provides access to online education to communities... [02:24.80]It can make micro- and small- and medium-sized enterprises [02:29.40]be able to compete with larger businesses." [02:33.08]The ITU said universal and low-cost internet access [02:38.45]can help the poorest countries move forward in fields like education, health and trade. [02:46.96]While the findings sound hopeful, [02:49.84]the report identified the lack of digital skills as a barrier [02:54.53]to information communication technology and Internet use in poor areas. [03:02.00]The ITU called on policy makers, industry leaders and educators [03:08.44]to work together to increase digital skills across the least developed countries. [03:15.44]I'm Jonathan Evans. [03:18.24]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM