Now for some good news. The International Telecommunications Union, the UN agency for information and communication technologies, issued a report a few days ago that says all 47 of the world’s “least developed economies” have made major progress on Internet access. The big takeaways:
- About 700 million people in these countries now have mobile phone subscriptions.
- 60 percent of their populations are now covered by a 3G network.
- 80 percent live within range of a mobile cell network.
In sum, the world’s 47 poorest countries are now on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal for universal and affordable Internet access by 2020. This marks a major leap forward for hundreds of millions of people who are gaining access to education, business opportunities, better healthcare, better government services, better ways to communicate with other people, more information about the rest of the world, and rising expectations for the next generation.