Ireland up two places in global IT league

31 Mar 2006

Ireland has edged up two places to twentieth position from last year’s ‘static’ position at 22 in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global IT Report on Networked Readiness across 115 economies. The WEF report determines national information and communication technology (ICT) strengths and weaknesses and evaluates progress.

The US topped the ranking for the third time in five years as a leader in terms of innovation and confirming its position as an ICT powerhouse. Last year’s number one, Singapore, was in second place this year.

With record coverage of 115 economies worldwide and published for the fifth consecutive year, the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) has grown into the world’s most respected assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the propensity for countries to leverage the opportunities offered by ICT for development and increased competitiveness.

Last year Ireland was passed out by New Zealand, which this year is behind Ireland in twenty-first position.

Among the European countries in the top 20 Denmark was in the highest position at number three, followed by Iceland (four), Finland (five), Sweden (eight), Switzerland (nine), the UK (10), Netherlands (12), Norway (13), Germany (17) and Austria (18).

Damien Mulley, chairman of lobby group Ireland Offline, wasn’t impressed with the jump of two places. “It still means we are way behind when we are only twentieth,” he pointed out.

Mulley also pointed to a new report from Strategy and Policy Consultants Network (SPC Network) entitled ‘European Telecom’s Lost Investment’, which claims that Europe is missing up to €14bn of telecoms investment each year due to ineffective regulatory environments in some countries. The report found that for each 10pc increase in broadband competition there would be a 5pc increase in investment.

By John Kennedy