Sunday 17 December 2017

High phone charges pull us down WEF's league table

Thomas Molloy

Ireland's ranking among the world's most networked economies fell one place as expensive phone services and poor teaching of maths and science dragged down the country's position in the league table of the World Economic Forum.

Ireland is the world's 24th most networked economy behind countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Korea and Belgium, the forum said yesterday. Twelve European countries were in the top 20, making the continent the most networked part of the world.

Sweden has the world's most networked economy, putting it and neighbours such as third-ranked Denmark in a good position to rebound from the downturn, according to the report by the forum and Paris-based business school INSTEAD. The report found Ireland's biggest weaknesses include the high cost of residential phones, which was ranked at 118 out of 133 countries. Business phone costs were ranked at 92. The burden of government regulation, ranked 74th, and the Government's failure to promote computers and technology also featured.

Positives included the freedom of the press -- ranked 14th -- and judges' independence from political meddling, ranked ninth. The education system was ranked eighth but the teaching of maths and science was 24th.

Irish Independent

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