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Broadband Helps UK Rank 9th in Global Competitiveness Report

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 (10:01 am) - Score 592

The World Economic Forum has ranked the United Kingdom 9th in its Global Competitiveness Index 2014-2015 (up from 10th last year), with the country’s position being lifted due to its flexible labour market and work to reduce public sector debt. But strong broadband and Internet services have also given a boost to the country’s ‘Technological Readiness’ score.

The GCI represents an annual assessment of the factors driving countries’ productivity and prosperity. Apparently the leading ten economies in the index all possess a “track record in developing, accessing and utilising available talent, as well as in making investments that boost innovation“, which usually involves a strong collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Top 10 Countries – Global Competitiveness Index
1. Switzerland
2. Singapore
3. United States
4. Finland
5. Germany
6. Japan
7. Hong Kong SAR
8. Netherlands
9. United Kingdom
10. Sweden

But a closer look at the individual report for the United Kingdom reveals that we’re strongest for health and primary education (4th pillar), technological readiness (9th pillar) and infrastructure (2nd pillar), which will no doubt come as welcome news to the Government’s ears.

Being ISPreview.co.uk we’re inclined to take a closer look at the network and communications side of things. In terms of technological readiness, we rank 9th in the world for Internet users as a % of the population and 7th for fixed broadband penetration. Sadly we fall a little to 12th place when it comes to mobile broadband subscriptions, while International Internet bandwidth (kbps per user) places us in 7th.

The results for infrastructure in this area are however a little mixed and we’re ranked just 51st in the world for mobile telephone subscriptions (post-paid and pre-paid) per 100 members of the population. On the flip side the same score for fixed telephone lines places us at a respectable 8th (it should be noted that developing countries often have more aggressive mobile than fixed line markets).

Furthermore we’re ranked 7th in the world for Internet access in schools, which isn’t too shabby. No doubt the Government will see this as a vindication of their efforts to invest in infrastructure and make fixed line superfast broadband services available to 95% of the population by 2017 (rising to 99% by 2018 with mobile and wireless solutions).

However it’s worth noting that a lot of the data used to calculate these areas is sourced from earlier in 2013, which is when most of the mobile and broadband provision improvements were still being driven by commercial investment through primarily BT, Virgin Media and the major mobile operators. It’s possible that the Government’s efforts to help boost broadband and mobile connectivity may thus do more to help similar aspects of next year’s report.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar dave says:

    I think BT openreach has updated it’s exchange database, my exchange is now scheduled for december: http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/downloads/sffa_exchange_lists/coming_soon.pdf

  2. Avatar gerarda says:

    That is a much more useful collection of countries that we need to be competitive against than the basket cases used by Ofcom for comparison purposes.

  3. Avatar Tim Coote says:

    I see that we’re still a very looong way behind in terms of IPv6 penetration (http://bit.ly/1vYbLd3). UK @0.32% vs 11.4% in US. The rate of ipv6 sourced queries at Google (other tab on that page) continues to show ~18 month to double rate. The raggedness appears to show how much business (globally) lags consumers.

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