NZ in top half of the Information Society Index

New Zealand is not doing too badly as an ICT (information and communications technology) nation, despite poor broadband uptake. In 2005, New Zealand was ranked as number 17 of 53 countries, said Graeme Muller, country manager of IDC New Zealand.

"Last year, New Zealand's IT spending as a percentage of GDP was 3.3 percent, which is just below the U.S. and the U.K., and above Australia, which spent three percent of GDP on IT," he says.

The Information Society Index takes into account computer, telecom, internet and social aspects, and combines a country's ranking in these areas, Muller said at last month's IDC Directions conference.

The computer index looks at IT in relation to GDP, computer uptake, software and IT services. New Zealand ranks as number 12, while the U.S. is number one, the U.K. number 10 and Australia 16th. China and India are at the far end of the scale, at 47 and 51 respectively.

The telecom index involves, for example, the number of wireless subscribers, broadband penetration and network investments.

New Zealand slips back to number 28 in this index, compared to Australia at number seven, the U.S. at number 13 and the U.K. at number 19. The BRIC-countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are far behind. India is number 52 of 53. Muller says New Zealand's poor rating is due to low levels of broadband uptake.

The internet index is based on number of web users, e-commerce maturity, home and mobile web users. New Zealand's position is number 22, beaten by the U.K. at number 10, the U.S. at number 14 and Australia at number 16. China is not far behind New Zealand at number 28.

The social index looks at factors like secondary and tertiary education, civil liberties, and corruption. New Zealand is strong in this area and is right up at the top of the list with the Scandinavian countries. Finland holds the first position, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Australia is number six, the U.S. number seven and the U.K. number nine. China and India are at the bottom - number 49 and 51 of 53.

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