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Digital Quality of Life Index 2020: SurfShark

  • 19 Aug 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index 2020 has been released by SurfShark, an online privacy solutions provider.

  • According to it, India ranks among the lowest in the world in terms of Internet quality.

Key Points

  • Coverage: It is global research on the quality of digital wellbeing in 85 countries (81% of the global population).
  • Parameters: The study indexes the countries by looking at five fundamental pillars that define the digital quality of life namely, internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security and electronic government.
    • Underpinning these pillars are 12 indicators that are interrelated and work together to provide a measure of the overall digital quality of life.
  • GDP and DQL: Although GDP per capita has a strong correlation with the DQL, there are countries that have a better digital quality of life with a lower GDP per capita than expected.
    • 13 countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, etc.) exceed the expected digital quality of life by outperforming others in providing higher levels of e-security and more affordable internet connectivity.
    • Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia with relatively high GDP per capita are underperforming in providing better digital wellbeing for their citizens due to low levels of internet quality and e-security.
  • Affordability: The affordability of the internet plays a major role in ensuring accessibility but has a notably lower correlation with the DQL than the other pillars.
    • For instance, the internet is less affordable in some Southern or Eastern European countries but people there still enjoy higher than the average digital quality of life.
  • Internet Infrastructure: The stability of the internet infrastructure has become of crucial importance during the Covid-19 pandemic when video conferences replaced live meetings. Consequently, it impacted the quality of people’s digital lives.
    • During the first month of the lockdowns, 49 of 85 countries experienced deteriorated speeds of mobile internet and 44 countries experienced deteriorated speeds of broadband connection.
  • Global Rankings:
    • 7 out of 10 countries with the highest DQL are in Europe, with Denmark leading among 85 countries.
      • Scandinavian countries excel in offering high-quality digital wellbeing to their citizens.
    • Canada leads in American continents, Japan in Asia, South Africa in Africa and News Zealand in Oceania.
  • Indian Rankings: India stands at the overall rank of 57 out of the 85 countries.
    • Internet Affordability: 9th place and outperforms countries like the UK, the USA and China.
    • Internet Quality: 78th place and is almost at the bottom of the pillar.
    • E-infrastructure: 79th place and below countries like Guatemala and Sri Lanka.
    • Electronic Security: 57th position.
    • E-government: 15th place and just below countries like New Zealand and Italy.

Government Initiatives Related to Internet

Source: TH

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