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Rural Issues Cause UK Fall from 3rd to 5th in Huawei’s Connectivity Index

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 (11:02 am) - Score 1,573

The annual Global Connectivity Index from Huawei, which claims to offer a quantitative assessment of connectivity and its value from both national and industrial perspectives, reports that the United Kingdom has dropped to 5th place due to weaknesses with “low cable infrastructure” and rural Mobile Broadband coverage.

The GCI index appears to have a strong correlation with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which means that countries with higher GCI scores have higher GDP per Capita. This is important because Huawei claims that a 20% increase in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) investment will grow the GDP of a country by 1%.

In that sense the GCI praised the UK’s “mature ICT market“, which it said was benefitting from “high investments and strong penetration of high speed mobile and fixed broadband“. The Government has of course been investing quite a bit in fixed line superfast broadband, with the aim being to make related services available to 95% by 2017.

gci ranking 2015

But it’s not all good news, with the GCI warning that the UK still suffers from, “low cable infrastructure across the country and rural areas also endure issues with mobile broadband services. Thus United Kingdom should adopt greater cloud services and improve the public governance. They should also invest more in projects that interconnect rural areas and encourage ICT partners to broaden their horizon by providing affordable rates for broadband services for all income levels just like the United States.”

In fairness though the UK’s fall from 3rd to 5th is also because some countries have simply been improving their ICT capabilities faster than we have, but it could still be a lot worse. For example, last year the no.1 country was Germany and this year they’ve been trashed all the way down to 11th. Likewise Chile came in 4th last year and this year they’re 20th. Yep, it could be a lot worse.

In the meantime the Government are currently attempting to work with the mobile operators in order to improve both their geographic and population coverage, which should hopefully help our rankings. But that assumes they can resolve some of the current problems with spectrum licence fees, rental rates for private land and or mast size (here).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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