UK slips in digital economy rankings

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UK slips in digital economy rankings

Simon Quicke

Even before the private sector has come up with an answer to how to extend rural broadband as the Channecloor expects them to do the UK has slipped further in the global internet provision rankings.

According to figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit the UK dropped one place in the digital economy rankings to 14th position trailing behind the likes of Japan, South Korea, Finland and Sweden.

One trend that was picked up by the EIU was the need for most European countries to upgrade their infrastructure which put them at a disadvantage to states in Asia which had already made the investment.

Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at EIU, said that to get a good digital infrastructure required concerted action and the chart topping Sweden benefited from a stable business environment.

The survey also showed that the global digital divide is narrowing with the gap from the top ranked country to the bottom being reduced as broadband became more afforable.

The previous government had hoped to use a landline tax of 50p a month to those with a fixed line to fund the expansion of broadband into rural areas and improvements to the network. That plan was scrapped by the present government in the recent emergency budget.

The Chancellor George Osborne said in his budget that some funds from the digital switchover would be made available but the expectation was that the private sector would plug the rest of the gap.

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