Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Social Democracy Good For Net Access

In November the International Telecommunication Union generated a "Digital Access Index" for every country on the planet based on eight variables:

1. Fixed telephone subscribers per 100 inhabitants
2. Mobile cellular subscribers per 100 inhabitants
3. Affordability (Internet access price as percentage of Gross National Income per capita)
4. Adult Literacy
5. Combined primary, secondary and tertiary school enrollment level
6. International Internet bandwidth (bits) per capita
7. Broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants
8. Internet users per 100 inhabitants

The top ten countries in the world on this measure (treating Hong Kong as a country) were:

Sweden
Denmark
Iceland
South Korea
Norway
Netherlands
Hong Kong
Finland
Taiwan
Canada

The U.S. was number eleven. Africa on the whole had the lowest digital access.

Looking simply at the percentage of population with Internet access the U.S. ranks in the top five:

Iceland 65%
Sweden 57%
S. Korea 55%
USA 55%
Japan 55%