U.S. network readiness: You make the call
WE’RE NO. 3: If the United States didn’t have enough to worry about, we as a country are slipping a bit in information technology proficiency, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum. The forum’s Networked Readiness Index for 2008-09 ranks the United States, which had led the index through 2006, third, behind Denmark and Sweden.
The index measures a variety of factors in a country’s ability to use IT to fuel economic development and competitiveness in the global economy. So why have we fallen? The report puts most of the blame at the top, citing poor political and regulatory IT environments. It also blamed a low rate of mobile phone use, lack of government leadership, and poor quality of mathematics and science education.
OK, the political and regulatory leadership could be better. Math and science grades we’ve heard about for years. But a “low rate of mobile phone usage?” Are they serious? There is nary an activity these days that is not accompanied by talking, texting or tweeting. We’re supposed to be doing more? When exactly?
Of course, rankings such as these ultimately are subjective, so you can take it with a grain of salt. But I’d be careful driving in Demark and Sweden.
Kevin McCaney is the executive editor of GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCaney.