Swedish web users ‘are most savvy’, says inventor of the web

06/09/2012

Sweden tops the list of most savvy web users in the world, with the US and UK following behind, according to a new survey launched by Internet inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee charity foundation. The study, compiled by Sir Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Foundation, ranked both the social and political impact of the web.

It shows that the internet remains a largely untapped resource, with only one in three people using it globally and fewer than one in six in Africa.

The index ranks 61 countries on internet readiness and use, as well as the political, economic and social value they extract from it.

Using data from the past five years, it scored nations in seven different categories.

These were: communications infrastructure - the state and availability of web-enabling infrastructure; institutional infrastructure - education, laws, regulation and censorship; web content - what relevant and useful content is available; web use - the extent to which the web is used in a country; political impact; economic impact and social impact.

WEB INDEX TOP 10

1. Sweden
2. United States
3. United Kingdom
4. Canada
5. Finland
6. Switzerland
7. New Zealand
8. Australia
9. Norway
10. Ireland

According to the index, Iceland has the greatest web use, with 95% of its population online.
Ireland, which overall ranked 10th, gained the highest score for economic impact with 14.8% of its gross domestic product coming from ICT service exports between 2007 and 2010.

Yemen came bottom of the index in three categories, including social and economic impact of the web.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee explained why he thought such an index was important: "By shining a light on the barriers to web for everyone, the index is a powerful tool that will empower individuals, government and organisations to improve their societies."

Almost 30 per cent of the countries covered face government restrictions on access to websites.

WEB INDEX BOTTOM 10

1. Nepal
2. Cameroon
3. Mali
4. Bangladesh
5. Namibia
6. Ethiopia
7. Benin
8. Burkino Faso
9. Zimbabwe
10. Yemen

Despite falling costs in western Europe, internet access remains a luxury in most countries, it suggested.

Across the 61 countries surveyed, broadband connections still cost almost half of monthly income per capita.

"The high price of connectivity is stopping billions of people from achieving their rights to to knowledge and participation. Costs have got to come down dramatically," said Sir Tim.

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