UK broadband connectivity score drops in EU index

Despite having the goal of being a leader in the digital world, the UK has fallen two places in its ranking for mobile and fixed line broadband connectivity, according to the European Commission's 2016 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

The DESI analyses the performance and evolution of digital connectivity throughout Europe and placed the UK in sixth place this year - down from fourth place in 2015 - suggesting that other countries are developing at a faster rate. The report says: "The United Kingdom performs better than the EU average but it has improved at a slower rate than the EU as a whole, which places it in the lagging ahead cluster of countries."

But it's not all bad news. The UK's Next Generation Access coverage score of 91 per cent is well above the EU average (71 per cent) and our proportion of STEM graduates has also increased to 23 per 1,000 - up 3 from last year.

The UK's ranking for Human Capital (3rd) and Integration of Digital Technology (15th) have both stayed the same, whilst it rose two positions for Use of Internet to 8th place and went down one place in the Digital Public Services category to 16th.

The Index also places countries into four stages of development:

  • Running ahead: Countries are those that score above the EU average and whose score grew faster than that of the EU over the last year.
  • Lagging ahead: Countries are those that score above the EU average but whose score grew slower than that of the EU over the last year.
  • Catching up: Countries are those that score below the EU average but whose score grew faster than that of the EU over the last year.
  • Falling behind: Countries are those that score below the EU average and whose development over the last year was slower than that of the EU as a whole.

According to the report: "Over the course of last year, all EU countries have improved their score except for Sweden, who has stagnated at around 0.67." The full Index can be found on the European Commission website.

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