The internet was originally created for military communication but soon expanded into the world wide web that we know it to be. While many consider internet access to be a necessity, it is still a luxury for some nations, particularly the least developed and impoverished countries. However, statistics indicate that internet usage in underdeveloped and developing nations is now on the rise!
A report from the International Telecommunications Union, which is a UN agency, states that there has been a notable increase in internet usage in the least developed nations of the world. This is primarily used for the banking infrastructure of these nations as it helps in internet banking, online payments and other beneficial uses.
The UN has defined 47 nations as the ‘least developed’ nations. The report states that all 47 of these nations now have a better internet access than they have had in the past. Over 60% of the combined population of these nations now has access to faster, 3G internet services. By the end of 2017, 700 Million people in these least developed nations had internet access on their smartphones!
This report from the ITU points out that these nations are on track to their goal of universal and affordable internet access by 2020. The report pointed out benefits of internet access in these nations, stating “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.”
Once the internet access improves, the next barrier would be improving the digital skills of the residents of these nations to ensure they can make the best possible use of the internet. The ITU is working with policy-makers, educators and a number of other industry leaders to help provide this digital education. These findings from the report are indeed hopeful that the future will be even well connected than it is today!