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Scandis rule global ICT waves

UK limps in at 12

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Most wired countries in the world? Sweden, Denmark and Iceland top the first International Telecommunication Union's Digital Access Index.

The Digital Access Index distinguishes itself from other indices by including a number of new variables, such as education and affordability. Research has shown that internet use is strongly linked to education. In China more than half of all Internet users are university educated. The index covers 178 economies, which makes it the first truly global ICT ranking.

The Republic of Korea comes in fourth, followed by the Netherlands, Hong Kong and (not unexpectedly) Finland. The UK limps in just after the USA at number 12. The top ten economies are almost exclusively Asian and European - Canada pops up in tenth place.

According to the ITU, the four Asian Tigers - Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - have made the greatest progress over the last four years. The results suggest that the English language is no longer a critical factor in quick technology adoption, as more online content is made available in other languages.

Another index released this week looks at the most connected cities in Germany. The number one? Not Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg or even Bonn. Nope, it's Karlsruhe. At least, according to Edgar Einemann from Bremerhaven, who performed research on the subject for the German business magazine DMEuro.

Einemann looked at 38 parameters, such as the number of internet users, internet usage and the amount of web content offered from a particular location. That Karlsruhe, a medium-sized town of around 200,000 people in southwestern Germany, near the Black Forest, ended first is because it has by far the highest internet usage, according to DMEuro.

The number two, Munich, isn’t much of a surprise. The state capital of Bavaria is home to many technology firms including Siemens AG. Next on the list are Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Heidelberg and Bonn. Heidelberg has Germany's "most diligent web surfers", whatever that means.

Most unwired city in Germany is Salzgitter, followed by Mülheim an der Ruhr and Hagen. You may want to move there if you hate computers (but then why are you reading The Reg?). ®

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