Ireland comes in 10th in Berners-Lee global web index (update)

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Ireland ranks 10th and Sweden first in a new global index that evaluates the state of the web in 61 countries and emphasises that censorship and high broadband prices are barriers to a truly worldwide web. The strong performance in the Berners-Lee index has been welcomed by IDA Ireland.

Even though Ireland ranks 10th overall, it has drawn the highest score for economic impact, with 14.8pc of its gross domestic product coming from ICT service exports between 2007 and 2010.

THE 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

THE 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

Inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation compiled the index using data from the past five years. The index scored countries in seven categories:

  • 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
  • Social impact

Moderate to severe government restrictions on access to websites affect 30pc of countries, while about 50pc of governments demonstrate increasing threats to press freedom, the index reveals.

The high price of broadband connections is reflected in all 61 countries surveyed, with the price of a connection being almost half of monthly income per capita.

In terms of those who have access to a connection, the index shows that the greatest web use is in Iceland, with 95pc of its population going online. In Africa, only one in six people are using the web, whereas one in three people are using the web globally.

“Ireland’s performance in this index is very encouraging for businesses looking to establish themselves in Ireland, IDA director of planning Brendan McDonagh said.

“Ireland has the highest score for the ‘economic impact’ of the web on the Berners-Lee index.

“The high economic impact score is a reflection of the strength of the ICT sector in Ireland.

“This index underlines the importance of the web to businesses in Ireland and reminds us all of the need to fully implement the broadband strategy outlined recently by Minister Pat Rabbitte,” McDonagh added.

World Wide Web image via Shutterstock

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Tina held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto

editorial@siliconrepublic.com