Ukraine Ranks 57th in E-Readiness Survey

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine ranked 57th in an annual survey of the world's Web-savviest nations by aggressively rolling out broadband and wireless Internet connections. As compared to the previous survey, Ukraine gained 3 places.

The United States and Switzerland boosted their rankings in the survey. The United States, which had slipped to sixth place in late 2003, recovered to rank No. 2 in late 2004, according to an annual study published on Wednesday by U.S. computer company International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM - news) and the intelligence unit of British magazine The Economist. Switzerland climbed to fourth place from No. 10.

Denmark remained No. 1 in taking advantage of the Internet, both connecting citizens securely over broadband and wireless networks as well as using its near ubiquitous hook-ups for Internet banking and government services such as tax returns.

Denmark has also established a government Web site that pulls together ministries and other organizations, in which citizens and companies can access public services.

This year's study put more emphasis on security: laws and technology that protect users against viruses and fraud, a factor that hurt many users.

"Today's top performers may well lag behind in one or two years if they don't embrace the latest Web innovations." Korsten said. "It's a tough, continuing battle out there," he added.

Countries such as Singapore (11th place), Austria (14) and Spain (23) fell several places, while Australia (10), New Zealand (16), Israel (20) and Japan (21) and most eastern European states climbed several spots.

Mexico (36) gained several positions after major government investment in Internet community centers and a rising number of Web cafes, reminiscent of initiatives in Sweden five years ago.

Of the 65 countries surveyed, Azerbaijan remained at the bottom of the list with just 2.72 points, up from 2.43, only slightly worse than Pakistan with 2.93 points.

Source: Computer Crime Research Center

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