OUT OF 127 countries, Slovakia ranks 43rd in the use of information and communications technologies, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Denmark came in first, followed by Sweden. Slovakia placed behind Hungary (37th) and the Czech Republic (36th), but ahead of Poland (62nd), the SITA newswire wrote.
Estonia made a surprise showing in the ranking, placing 20th, according to Cisco, a company that supported the survey. Estonia, which was one of 10 countries that joined the European Union four years ago, is home to Skype.
According to the WEF, Slovakia's position was strong in the category of the total number of computers and mobile phone users.
"With 42 Internet users per 100 inhabitants, Slovakia outperformed all other V-4 countries," the report stated. "Slovakia reported similar success in the category of accessibility of fixed lines and mobile networks."
On the other hand, WEF considers the quality of communication technologies at schools to be one of Slovakia's weaknesses.
Slovaks are relatively uninformed about technological products, which is evident from their purchasing behaviour. The digitalisation of the public sector is also lacking, the report concluded.
Slovakia placed 39th in the category of number of people with access to broadband Internet service. Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands occupied the top spots in this category.
"These results prove that broadband Internet became a key factor for economic and social growth and determines a country's competitiveness," Marcel Rebroš, director general of Cisco Slovensko, said.
"Broadband brings not only economic benefits, resulting in increased productivity, but also social benefits, such as fast access to information in education, electronic services in the field of health care and other sectors of the public administration."
28. Apr 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports