UK ranked 10th overall in new Network Readiness Index (NRI) report by Portulans Institute

The UK has been named as one of the top ten ‘network-ready’ countries in the Global Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2021. This ranking reflects how the use of technology in the country is positively contributing to economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

How United Kingdom fared in NRI

How United Kingdom fared in NRI

The 2021 edition of the Network Readiness Index (NRI) is published by the Portulans Institute. STL, an industry-leading integrator of digital networks, is the project’s official knowledge partner. The NRI 2021 ranks 130 global markets based on a broad range of indicators, ranging from a country’s preparedness to embrace new technologies to its ability to use digital transformation to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The findings are included in a new report by the Portulans Institute published today, ‘Shaping the Global Recovery: How digital technologies can help make the post-COVID world more equal’.

The UK was ranked in tenth place on the Index, while the Netherlands was the top ranked country overall. Only two countries outside of Europe were ranked in the top ten: the USA (4th) and Singapore (7th). The UK’s overall NRI score of 76.60 was above both the average for high-income countries (67.45) and the European average (65.45).

The NRI is organized around four key pillars: Technology, People, Governance, and Impact, with sub categories within each pillar, spanning 60 metrics overall. The UK ranked particularly well on Technology. This indicates that the UK’s digital infrastructure is affordable and accessible by its citizens and that the country’s digital economy is well placed to take advantage of new technology developments such as AI and the Internet of Things.

Elsewhere, the UK ranked highly due to the quality of its online government services, its commitment to open data, and its strength in cybersecurity. It also scored well on how it was contributing to the UN’s SDG’s, particularly on Health (SDG #3), Education (SDG #4), and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG #11).

“While the pandemic has widened the digital divide and increased inequalities across many markets, the UK have been able to increase its overall NRI score based on its ability to integrate people and technology alongside the right governance structures,” said Bruno Lanvin, co-founder of the Portulans Institute and co-author of the report.

“This year’s results reflect how the COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate digital transformation and underlines the importance of robust and accessible digital economies,” said Ankit Agarwal, Managing Director, STL. “The pandemic demonstrated the importance of digital networks as a platform for economic and societal growth. The key now is to bring people and technology together in a new era of digital transformation – and the UK is showing leadership in this area.”