William Malcolm

Czech Digital Quality Of Life Lags Behind European Peers

The digital quality of life in Czechia lags behind other countries in the European Union according to the 2020 Digital Quality of Life Index. The country ranked 32nd out of 85 countries around the world. Most of the top places in the ranking belong to European countries.

The Digital Quality of Life Index evaluates countries according to five criteria: Internet affordability, internet quality, E-Infrastructure, E-security, and E-government.

According to the index, the Czech Republic is behind other EU countries in internet affordability ranking 57th behind most European countries. According to the study, it was similarly unflattering in the field of cybersecurity, where it has “room to improve preparedness for cyber attacks” in 64th place.

Czechia has a slightly better position in the evaluation of the level of digitization of offices, where it ranks 49th.

In contrast, the quality of the Internet connection in the Czech Republic is among the top 20 in the world, according to the index.

There are seven European countries in the top ten countries evaluated. Behind the first three, other positions include France, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, Israel, Japan, and Poland. Germany ranked 16th in the index. The United States is 22nd, Slovakia, two places ahead of the Czech Republic. Of the European countries, Bosnia was the worst in the ranking, with the last three places from 85 countries in Pakistan, Algeria and Honduras ranking worldwide.

According to Petr Loužecký from Algotech, the speed and methods of connection in the Czech Republic are historically influenced by the link to the original national provider of telecommunications services. A large group of the population is still connected by outdated telephone wiring. Another specific feature is the significant number of Wi-Fi networks managed by civic associations, which is a consequence of high internet prices for ordinary citizens and students. “In Europe, fast optical metropolitan networks are common, to which apartment and family houses are connected, which guarantees good internet availability without connection to mobile networks. In the Czech Republic, mobile internet is often faster than a fixed-line,” he said.

“In the study, I am surprised by the evaluation of the level of cybersecurity. I do not think that we in the Czech Republic are significantly behind other states; there are even some of the world’s most successful companies dealing with security. The results may have been affected by recent attacks on hospitals.

“On the contrary, I am not surprised by the evaluation of the digitization of offices. Probably all citizens feel that the digitization of offices could be faster. The biggest obstacle to the electronic state administration is not technology, but it is legislation and insufficient communication between authorities,” he added.