UK named in top five in global connectivity rankings

UK named in top five in global connectivity rankings Content Categories (iStock: fisfra)

The UK has been named as the fifth-best country for connectivity in the world, capping recent efforts by the government to place the nation at the heart of the digital era.

The 2016 Global Connectivity Index, released by Chinese firm Huawei, examined the connectivity services of 50 countries.

The latest rankings see the UK rise by one place on last year's listings, while the US emerged at the top.

The top five was completed by Singapore (2nd), Sweden (3rd) and Switzerland (4th).

The report said the UK's rise had been primarily driven by the government's willingness to invest early in both the cloud and big data assets, as well as "a-well-thought-out strategy to drive the adoption of 4G, fibre optics, and the Internet of Things (IoT)".

It also credited the UK government's pledge to provide  £1.7 billion to 47 local projects, which comes in line with an overall aim of giving 95 per cent of the country access to superfast broadband by 2017.

Another key factor in Britain's success, according to the report, has been the government-backed consortium Innovate UK.

Made up of 40 tech companies, the group plans to invest £30 million a year to help give support to IoT solutions, which are largely viewed as being a key factor in future growth within the digital economy.

Huawei added that work in the private sector has been the most potent catalyst to growth, citing BT's partnership with Neul to provide tech services for an IoT network in Milton Keynes in 201 and Cisco's 2015 plans to invest around £705 million for similar solutions nationwide, as particularly strong examples.

However, the report warned that the UK may soon be confronted by the challenge of maintaining leadership with the challenge of maintaining leadership in the face of tough and varied competition amid a pessimistic global economic forecast.

It added: "As a frontrunner on the connectivity journey, the UK is slowly shifting towards augmented innovation, and is therefore in a position to share its experience and expertise in reaching this point on the connectivity path.

"It has proved by example that a healthy collaboration between government and industry can achieve measurable successes for the economy as well as the technological world."