The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released their seventh annual Measuring the Information Society Report, ranking countries based on their infocomm development.
ITU collects ICT statistics for 200 economies and over 100 indicators. The report showed that almost 7.1 billion people- over 95 percent of the global population- are covered by a mobile-cellular signal.
This report revealed a few surprising measures as South Korea sat on top of the most connected countries, Hong Kong ranked 9th, Australia ranked 13th, while Singapore inched their way into the top 20- taking 19th place.
Connect 2020 Agenda
In 2014, the ITU adopted the Connect 2020 Agenda. This agenda sets out a series of goals and targets for improvements in the growth and inclusiveness of ICTs, their sustainability, and the contribution of innovation and partnerships.
This recent report showed that more action must be taken by countries to meet the targets for growth and inclusiveness. It is especially important not to miss the progress in developing countries.
The Connect 2020 Agenda aims to ensure that at least 50 percent of households in developing countries and 15 percent of households in LDCs have access by 2020. ITU estimates that only 45 percent of households in developing countries. 11 percent of LDC households will have Internet access by that date.
“ICTs will be essential in meeting each and every one of the 17 newly-agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this report plays an important role in the SDG process,” stated ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao., “Without measurement and reporting, we cannot track the progress being made, and this is why ITU gathers data and publishes this important report each year.”
Top 20 connected countries
The top 20 most connected countries are the following: (1) South Korea, (2) Denmark, (3) Iceland, (4) United Kingdom, (5) Sweden, (6) Luxembourg, (7) Switzerland, (8) The Netherlands, (9) Hong Kong, (10) Norway, (11) Japan, (12) Finland, (13) Australia, (14) Germany, (15) United States, (16) New Zealand, (17) France, (18) Monaco, (19) Singapore, and (20) Estonia.
Singapore has previously ranked closer to the top of the list. However, it seems that the country was affected by measures of adult literacy rate and total enrollment at secondary/tertiary schools.
The report did happen to mention that Singapore represented a bold strategy in its Smart Nation vision as it enables better use of technology so as to better manage resources and services.