The UK has come a disappointing seventh in a ranking of countries' readiness for the networked world despite being the second best place in the world for IT venture capital availability, a report has found.
The Global Information Technology Report from the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and international business school INSEAD, was based on 64 criteria, ranging from the use of technology by individuals, governments and businesses to regulations and infrastructure, and covered 82 economies around the world.
The report praised the UK's mobile phone industry as "fiercely competitive and highly advanced". It also commended the "ambitious" Broadband Britain strategy for giving the UK's public sector a head start.
But it described the dominance of BT, together with VAT on telecoms services, as restrictive, and warned that both of these were holding the UK back.
The report also noted the UK's patchy progress in e-government.
Despite being ranked seventh in its use of internet-based transactions with the government and 11th for availability of government online services, it only managed to rank 56th in the perception of government success of IT promotion.
And while the UK ranked fifth in its ability to retain talented people and fourth for capacity for innovation, it only came 24th in its firm-level technology absorbtion.
Fiona Paua, an economist at the World Economic Forum, said of the survey results: "The UK clearly enjoys a competitive position with regard to its market environment ... but there is more the UK can do to strengthen its networked readiness to leverage this position even further."
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