UN praises Italy's speedy internet progress

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Just under 59 percent of people in Italy used the internet last year. Internet photo: Shutterstock
10:18 CET+01:00
Italy is still far behind its European neighbours for internet connectivity, but the country is progressing at one of the fastest rates in the world, a new UN report has found.

Italy came 23rd out of 40 European countries ranked in the ICT Development Index, published by the UN technology agency ITU on Monday.

The country was beaten by all of its neighbouring countries, with Switzerland coming in 9th and France ranking 12th. Austria also did well, at 15th place, while Slovenia came in two places above Italy.

Globally Italy came 36th, between Barbados and Croatia, out of 166 countries featured in the report.

But despite Italy still falling behind a number of European countries, ITU praised the country for being among those which “made the most progress in connecting households to the internet” between 2012 and 2013.

Whereas 63 percent of households in Italy were online in 2012, this figure jumped to 69 percent last year. Similar successes were also noted in the Czech Republic, climbing from 65 to 73 percent, and Estonia (75 to 80 percent).

Italians, however, appear to remain relatively unenthusiastic about getting online. Just under 59 percent of individuals used the internet last year, climbing from 56 percent in 2012.

Such figures put Italy in 35th place in Europe for internet usage, the worst out of the EU’s 28 countries aside from Bulgaria and Romania.

Italians may be put off by internet prices, which costs higher than in Scandinavia when calculated by GNI (Gross National Income) per capita.

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The relative cost of fixed-broadband is cheapest in the UK, followed by Switzerland and Norway. Italy comes in 14th place in Europe, beating countries including Germany (17th) and Spain (25th).

SEE ALSO: Denmark is world's most connected country

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