Sweden, US Benefit Most From Web Usage: Study

Dennis Faas's picture

Tim Berners-Lee, the man many people credit with creating the World Wide Web, says Sweden has benefitted most from Internet usage. Berners-Lee ranks the United States and United Kingdom in second and third place, respectively.

His rankings are based on data from multiple sources, including more than 80 factors across seven categories. The categories range from the availability of technology that allows the web to flourish (such as broadband cabling) to whether national laws and regulations promote or hinder the web.

Berners-Lee's rankings also consider how useful and relevant the sites in each country are, plus how widely the web is used by a nation's population. He also attempted to measure the economic, political, and social impact the web exerts on a country.

Here are the rest of the top ten nations, in descending order: Canada, Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and Ireland.

China doesn't make the top ten, partly due to tight censorship of the Internet there.

Ireland's high ranking is related to economics: in recent years, almost one-sixth of the money generated by Irish businesses has come from providing computer-related services to clients in other nations.

Poorer Nations Enjoy Less Web Benefit

South Asia and Africa dominated the bottom of the rankings, with last place going to Nepal. The Middle East state of Yemen was the tenth lowest, overall, but received the lowest scores for social and economic impact.

Research for these rankings revealed the huge divide still existing between rich and poor nations when it comes to affordable access to the Internet. Across all 61 countries considered as a whole, a broadband connection costs almost half of average income. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Berners-Lee: Promoting Web "A Duty"

The broadband divide is even wider when you consider the countries excluded from the survey. Forbes notes that 80 per cent of people around the world don't regularly access the web. (Source: forbes.com)

Berners-Lee says he once thought it arrogant to try to persuade people in developing nations to use the Internet. Today he says those who regularly use the Internet have a duty to help share the benefits of the web with the entire world.

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