The 21st century has widely acknowledged the role played by Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in enhancing the productivity growth in the modern global economy – by enabling fast flow of information regardless of distance and other physical barriers.
The buzzword over here is ensuring ongoing ‘connectivity’, through investment in infrastructure, hardware and related data networks, at lower costs and unbelievable speeds. To start with, such connectivity speed should be useful enough to at least enable contribution to sustained economic performance.
In a bid to measure this ‘useful connectivity’ the annual report, called Connectivity Scorecard, has looked at the relationship between various elements of connectivity and economic growth and productivity; to provide insights into economic value generated by connectivity in various countries.
This new global report has ranked countries based on availability and penetration rate of ICT infrastructure, usage level of connectivity by consumers and businesses, extensive array of utilization metrics and investment in complementary assets such as human and organizational capital.
Even as India chugs along the path of humungous telecom subscriber growth; the fact of the matter remains that despite being a tech powerhouse, she is still one of the worst performers when it comes to connectivity and broadband speeds muddled by basic infrastructure and service-led problems.
2011 Connectivity Scorecard Results
India slips one place this year to 21st position amongst 25 resource and efficiency-driven (or developing) economies. Even in terms of business connectivity, India obtained low-to-modest scores on business-related metrics.
On the front of mobile network coverage, India lags behind many developing countries, despite vast improvement in coverage standards in recent years. Moreover, India scores weakly when it comes to performance in voice telephony in terms of consumer usage and skills category.
In a nutshell, India scores a lowly 1.25 as against toppers such as Malaysia (6.61 points), Chile (6.21) and Russia (5.68) who are amongst better developing nation performers. Further, India just manages to out-do Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and Bangladesh in terms of resource and efficiency-driven economies category.
China, on the other hand, surges ahead of India in the consumer-related parameters aided by strong consumer infrastructure and good internet usage levels, backed by high broadband and fixed-line penetration. In addition, China also ranked higher at 14th position in the developing economies category of Connectivity Scorecard results.
Are we really so behind in terms of connectivity? or is this an illusion?