The Connectivity Scorecard ranks the United States first in a group of 16 innovation driven economies [as defined by the World Economic Forum], although its score is only 6.97 out of a possible 10.0. The differentiated nature of the Scorecard compared to other rankings is illustrated by the fact that Korea, typically a high scorer on other indexes, is ranked 10th on the list, with a rating of just 4.78.
The Connectivity Scorecard measures the extent to which governments, businesses and consumers make use of connectivity technologies – the copper wires, fiber-optic lines, mobile phones and PCs that underpin today’s information economy – to enhance social and economic prosperity. For each component of the Scorecard, countries are benchmarked against the best in class in their tier; thus if a country was best in all dimensions, it would score a maximum of 10.0 Countries typically considered to be highly connected achieved only modest scores on the Scorecard – the average score for a group of 16 countries that include the U.S., Sweden and Korea was 5.05.
These results indicate an opportunity for countries to add hundreds of billions of dollars in economic benefit by rethinking how they measure and enable connectivity, according to the study authors. The authors point to a well-known study by Crandall and Jackson1 that showed a $500 billion long-term economic benefit to the U.S. just from achieving near-universal broadband penetration. Given the room for improvement on multiple measures of connectivity, there is every reason to believe that the worldwide gain from improving connectivity would be several multiples higher.