Sweden recently topped a global web index which was compiled by Sir Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Foundation, while the United Kingdom came third. The new index evaluates the state of the web in 61 different countries and ranks them based on the social and political impact of the web. The countries making up the top five are as follows...
- United States
- United Kingdom
Other countries in the global top ten include Norway, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Data collected over the last five years was used in seven different categories to determine the rankings. These include web usage, communications readiness, and the impact the web has had on the country's economic, political, and social climate. In the case of the United Kingdom the index found that we have a higher percentage of mobile and broadband subscriptions, higher even than the US, we also have a higher proportion of households with computers, and faster average Internet speeds.
The index found that just 1 in 3 of the global population are using the web, and this figure drops to less than 1/6 in Africa. The index also found barriers to an open "web for all" were high broadband prices and censorship; 30% of countries face government restrictions to internet access, half of these also show increasing threats to press freedom online.
While internet costs are falling in western Europe, internet access is a luxury in many countries. On the issue of broadband prices Sir Tim Berners-Lee had this to say - "The high price of connectivity is stopping billions of people from achieving their rights to to knowledge and participation... ...Costs have got to come down dramatically".
You can find out more about the research at the Web Index website - http://thewebindex.org