Geneva: December 13 2014: The Web has changed our lives. But to harness its full benefit, we need to understand how countries and people use it, and its impact on on development and human rights.
The Web Index, by the World Wide Web Foundation, tracks the Web’s contribution to social, economic and political progress across 86 countries. It ranks these nations across four pillars: Universal Access, Freedom and Openness, Empowerment and Relevant Content.
The Web Index is designed and produced by the World Wide Web Foundation. It is the world’s first measure of the World Wide Web’s contribution to social, economic and political progress in countries across the world.
India ranks 48 among the 86 nations ranked, with a score of 44.6 out of a maximum of 100
In its 2014 edition, Scandinavian countries topped the world rankings, with the U.S. coming in sixth.
Twenty-five years ago Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN took a momentous decision not to patent the Web, which led to a remarkable democratisation of its capabilities. Today, armed with little more than a smartphone, anyone — regardless of where they were born or how much they earn — can start a business, record a music video, crowdfund an invention, take courses with Nobel Prize-winning professors, or even launch a successful campaign for office.
An estimated 4.4 billion people — mostly poor, female, rural and living in developing countries — have no access to the Internet at all.While Internet use has soared from around 45% to 78% in high-income countries since 2005, in low-income countries it has remained below 10% year after year. Internet penetration grew by only one percentage point per year from 2011-2013 in low-income countries. (ITU).
Almost 40% of countries blocked politically or socially sensitive Web content to a moderate or extreme degree in the past year, up from 32% in 2013.
In 74% of Web Index countries, lack of net neutrality means that ability to pay may limit the content and services users can access.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in most middle- and low-income countries are realising only small gains from ICTs, whereas SMEs in most of the developed world have seen large benefits from the Web.
Link to full report here