2025 Broadband Advocacy Target 4


By 2025, 60% of youth and adults should have achieved at least a minimum level of proficiency in sustainable digital skills

Digital skills are essential for meaningful use of broadband and internet powered resources. With the digitalization of the workplace, classroom and public and private sector services, the need for digital skills and literacy has become even more urgent. 

In the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Digital Skills Insights 2021 Report, digital skills are divided into three levels, with basic skills representing a minimum level of proficiency:

Basic skills, referring to foundational digital abilities that help individuals participate in a digital ecosystem at a minimum level, by accessing and using digital technologies to perform basic tasks.

Intermediate skills, referring to skills that enable the use of technologies in more meaningful and beneficial ways. 

Advanced digital skills, referring to those needed by specialists in ICT professions like computer programming and network management. 

Tracking progress

Percentage of people with basic ICT skills, latest year available in 2018-2020

Note: For each economy, the value for basic skills is the average value of the available recent data for following four activities: copying or moving a file or folder, using copy and paste tools to duplicate or move information within a document, sending e-mails with attached files, and transferring files between a computer and other devices. 

Source: Facts and Figures, 2021 ITU

Globally, the need for digital skills and access to broadband has increased greatly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even with this urgent and visible need, low- and middle-income countries continue to report “lack of literacy and digital skills” as the main barrier to mobile internet use. 

Measuring ICT skills based on an individual’s ability to perform certain activities that require different levels of skills, the 2021 Facts and Figures ITU Report finds that in the 40% of the countries for which data was available, far less than half (<40%) of individuals reported having carried out one activity that comprises basic skills. In fact, among the countries sampled, only 23% reached the Broadband Advocacy Target of at least 60% of individuals reporting basic digital skills ( a minimum level of proficiency).