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Australia 9th in eReadiness rankings

12 June, 2007
By Allison Orr

Australia has fallen one position from its 2006 ranking to come in 9th in the 2007 e-readiness rankings.  Denmark retains the top ranking as it has done for the last five years, followed by the US and Sweden.  Several Asian countries have lifted their rankings significantly since the last report, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore.

The report also finds that the digital divide is narrowing and the world’s overall eReadiness is improving.  The distance between the highest and lowest scoring countries was smaller this year than in previous years.

Australia’s continued presence in the top 10 is due to several factors: Australia’s ranking is boosted by its high score in the category of the social and cultural environment, where the eLiteracy of Australia’s population comes second only to the US.  And surprisingly, given the current debate about the development of broadband Internet infrastructure, Australia scores high in the connectivity category, coming in equal fifth with the US and Singapore.  The report does state however, that "connection to the 'plain old telephone service' is no longer enough to make efficient use of the Internet; for this, broadband access is required."

The 2007 report has introduced a new legal environment category, looking at how a country’s Internet regulatory regime and legislative environment acts to foster the development of a non-restrictive Internet industry.  In this category, Australia comes second in the rankings, after only Hong Kong.  Hong Kong’s high ranking in this area is due largely to its non-restrictive business practices, as its score on censorship is lower than other developed countries due to pressure from Beijing.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a global research and advisory company, has published an annual report of e-readiness of the world’s largest economies since 2000, based on factors related to Internet-based market opportunities within each country.  Data is acquired from several sources, including the World Bank.

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