VPN provider Surfshark has issued a research on the “digital quality of life” (DQL) across 85 countries of the world. Revealing the factors that “have the greatest impact on digital well-being,” the study says which areas should be “prioritized to improve the potential” of a country.
The countries covered account for 6.3 billion people, or 81% of the global population. They are indexed according to five fundamental criteria: Internet affordability, Internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security, and electronic government.
With Denmark and Sweden leading the ranking, and Norway ranking fifth, Scandinavian countries excel in offering high quality digital well-being to their citizens. Other countries of the top ten include Canada, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Israel, Japan and Poland.
Russia ranks only 42nd in the world, according to the DQL Index 2020 – but the country outperforms several advanced Western countries for certain criteria:
- In terms of e-infrastructure, Russia makes it to the top 25th. In the 24th position, Russia outperforms the US, China, Austria, Israel, and Eastern European countries.
- Russia’s e-government services take 25th place. Russia surpasses Belgium, Israel, Lithuania, and most of the other Eastern European countries.
- However, Russia lags in the e-security ranking. Taking the 48th position, Russia is outperformed by all indexed European countries because of their strong data protection laws.
The study also took into account the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on Internet quality. “The stability of the Internet infrastructure has become of crucial importance during the Covid-19 crisis, when video conferences replaced live meetings. Consequently, it impacted the quality of people’s digital lives,” notes the study.
For example, in Russia, the stability of the mobile Internet connection slightly dropped due to the WFH setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.