UK is now one of the top five countries which are rapidly developing information and communication technology access, although it fell behind South Korea, which took the top slot
The UK reached fourth out of 167 countries which were ranked according to levels of information and communication technology (ITC) access, use and skills in the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) global ITC Development Index 2015. In 2010 the country was placed 10th.
South Korea grabbed the top position in the ITU's global ICT Development Index (IDC), while scoring 8.93 points. Improvements in ITC access in a Nordic countries were noted, with Denmark, Iceland and Sweden at second, third and fifth place with IDI value at 8.88, 8.86 and 8.67 points respectively.
The top 30 ranking includes countries from Europe and other "high-income nations" including Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Macao (China), New Zealand, Singapore and US, which managed to occupy the 15th place scoring 8.19 points. Among others India, which is also an emerging market, ranked 131 with only 2.69 points.
Costa Rica, Bahrain, Lebanon, Ghana, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Suriname, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Oman, according to ITU are the "most dynamic countries" to have recorded above-average improvements in their IDI ranking over fast five years.
"ITU's work in gathering and publishing statistics allows us to monitor the real progress being made in ICT development worldwide, which produces the report each year. Progress is encouraging in many areas, but more needs to be done – especially in the world's poorest and remotest regions, where ICTs can arguably make the biggest difference, and help bring people everywhere out of extreme poverty," said Brahima Sanou, director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.
ITU's annual report further reveals that 3.2 billion people are now online that represents 43.4% of the global population. The mobile-cellular subscriptions have reached 7.1 billion with more than 95% of the total population now covered by a mobile-cellular signal.