The EU Commission released it’s annual digital survey – Digital Competitiveness Report 2009 – this month (August 2009).
In it the Commission highlight the comparative development of broadband/dsl connections across European countries, as well as the use of web technologies by business. The results are surprising – using 2008 data as comparisons.
The UK now does well in it’s broadband/dsl coverage overall. We lie 5th in the Commission league tables with some 99.8% of the whole UK population having access to broadband services.
We do relatively well now in the coverage of rural areas too – with the UK services reaching 99.4% of the population in rural localities. We are beaten by France, Demark, Luxembourg and Belgium who offer better coverage to their rural residents.
In terms of the percentage of all households with broadband connection the UK lies 5th with a take up of 62%. A surprisingly low figure perhaps?
Overall users of the internet in the UK is registered by the Commission as 70%, placing us in 7th. place overall in the European competitiveness chart. Of those 70% of the population who use the internet, some 53% the survey declares define themselves as frequent users.
Of UK enterprises who have a fixed broadband connection we lie in 8th. place, with 87% of enterprises having a fixed connection. Interestingly the economies of Malta and Lithuania have higher business broadband penetration.
The comparative tables in the survey highlight the surge of development needed to still hit the government’s e-business targets. Slightly over half of all UK broadband connected businesses use the internet for form completion and filing (51%), but only 12% of the total broadband user population connect to e-government services. This puts the UK in 15th. ranking for business e-government, but at 12th. place in Europe for overall e-government population users.
This latter figure is very low for a global internet user population of 70% overall in the U.K. with Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland and Portugal all enjoying more e-government literate populations.
The full survey also has interesting things to say about the percentage of employees with ICT skills, or rather those employees who are recruited specifically for their I.T. skills.
To read more abstracts of the research, or to see the Commission Digital Competitiveness Report in full you can find the page here, on the European Information Society portal pages.
You can reach the Third Sector Web home page here.