The UK ranked 1 in Surfshark’s Digital Quality of Life Index, but ranked 32 globally for ‘Internet Quality’
The digital experience for UK residents is very good, with the country’s digital quality of life ranking improving over the past 12 months.
according to Fourth Annual Edition of the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index From Surfshark, the UK moved from 10th to 9th best country to live in, in terms of digital luxury (and 7th in Europe).
This puts it ahead of countries like South Korea (10), the United States (12), Norway (17) and Italy (19), but behind countries like France and Germany.
digital quality of life
SurfShark’s DQL reports the digital experience for 117 countries, or 92% of the world’s population.
SurfShark’s DQL rates countries based on five key pillars of digital well-being: Internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability, and cybersecurity.
For the UK, among the five basic pillars of digital life, the worst score was internet quality (with the UK ranked 32nd globally), and the best was e-government (third).
Internet quality considers the speed, stability and growth of the Internet.
In terms of internet speed alone, UK mobile internet ranks higher than fixed broadband in the global ranking, operating at 90.1 Mbps (25th globally). Meanwhile, fixed broadband internet is ranked 40th (106.6 Mbit/s).
Compared to Ireland, UK mobile internet is 41 per cent faster, while broadband is 15 per cent slower.
Since last year, mobile internet speed in the UK has improved by 15.3 percent (to 12Mbps), and fixed broadband speed has increased by 15 percent (to 13.9Mbps).
In comparison, Singapore residents enjoyed mobile speeds of 104 Mbps and fixed broadband speeds of 261 Mbps – the world’s fastest internet this year.
UK e-infrastructure services ranked 10th, while internet affordability and cyber security ranked 11th and 28th, respectively.
In the face of massive inflation, fixed broadband internet services have become less expensive worldwide for the second year in a row, increasing the global digital divide.
To address this, in May 2021 BT launched its half-price tariff plan for fiber broadband connections to millions of low-income British households.
Internet affordability in the UK ranks 11th in the world according to SurfShark.
Residents can buy 1GB of mobile internet in the UK for as cheap as 27 seconds of work per month, 4 times less than in Ireland. However, compared to Israel, which has the cheapest mobile Internet on the planet (5 seconds per 1 GB), the British work 5 times more. Its affordability has remained relatively the same, having decreased by just one second.
Fixed broadband costs British citizens about 78 minutes of their working time each month.
To pay for it, Britons have to work 4 times more than Israeli citizens, who only cost 19 minutes of work per month.
“While countries with a strong digital quality of life tend to be advanced economies, our global study found that money does not always buy digital happiness,” explained Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Head of Public Relations at Surfshark.
“That is why, for the fourth year in a row, we are continuing to analyze the digital quality of life to see how different countries are keeping pace with providing basic digital necessities to their citizens,” said Rasetit-Kraswski. “Importantly, our research seeks to show the full picture of the global digital divide plaguing millions of people.”
Israel ranks first in DQL 2022 and Denmark is runner-up in second place.
Germany ranks third, France and Sweden in the top five out of 117 countries evaluated.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cameroon are the bottom five countries.
Regionally, the United States stands out in the Americas as the country with the highest digital quality of life, while Israel occupies a leading position in Asia. Among the African countries, people in South Africa have the highest quality of digital life.
In Oceania, New Zealand has overtaken Australia in various digital areas this year.
The 2022 DQL research used data on the world’s population from the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Telecommunication Union, and other sources.
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