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Italy lagging behind in internet use PDF Print E-mail
Oct 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Italy is only number 23 in country rankings measuring the penetration of the Internet in today's society and thus it's economy, according to a new country-by-country global study. The Web Index, launched this fall by the World Wide Web Foundation, purports to measure the impact of the Web on the world's people and nations.

The highest ranking country in the Web Index is Sweden. The US ranks second and the UK, third. Yemen is the lowest ranking country in the Index, preceded by Zimbabwe. Italy, at number 23, is also preceded by Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and a whole bunch of other countries such as Korea, Chile, Qatar, Spain, France and Japan .

To a certain extent, this may reflect the fact that fewer Italians are well versed in written English than the people in many of the countries that precede Italy on the list, something that is certainly true of at least the first ten (except Switzerland) where English is at least a second language. Another explanation may be found in the fact that education in Italy varies sharply among different economic groups and that broad sectors of the economy continue to operate outside the Internet. According to statistics, roughly one half of Italians have never logged onto the Internet, as compared with only 20 % of Swedes.

A third reason that explains why Italy lags behind many of its neighbors in this sector is because of government inertia or ineffectiveness in its attempts to get the country's institutions to go digital. Although there have been changes - payment on line is now possible in a few branches of government - generally speaking Italy's bureaucracy remains a deadweight that seemingly has only one real objective, that of making life difficult for the rest of us.

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