Report ranks Estonia 21st for ICT development ({{commentsTotal}})

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) released information and communications technologies (ICT) Development Index on Tuesday. Estonia has retained its 21st position among 166 countries. It is estimated that 80 percent of the Estonian inhabitants use the Internet.

Denmark is ranked first in the ICT Development Index (IDI), surpassing last year's leader, the Republic of Korea. Sweden and Iceland have kept their third and fourth positions respectively, and the UK has risen to fifth.

Of Estonia's closer neighbors, Finland is eighth, Latvia is 33rd, Lithuania 40th, and Russia 42nd.

Estonia is 28th in terms of access, 20th for use and 14th for skills. The five-place change in access ranking rates it among the most dynamic countries. Estonia is also among the countries who made most progress in connecting households to the Internet - from 75 percent in 2012 to 80.3 percent in 2013.

Globally, Internet use grew by 6.6 percent by 2014, the report said. The number of Internet users in developing countries has doubled from 2009-2014.

The ITU’s IDI is widely recognized by governments, UN agencies and industry as the most accurate and impartial measure of overall national ICT development. It combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally, and at national level, as well as helping track progress in ICT development over time.

It measures ICT access, use and skills, and includes such indicators as mobile cellular subscriptions, households with a computer, Internet users, fixed and mobile broadband Internet subscriptions, and basic literacy rates.

Opinion digest: Our plans do not have to bend to distorted Russophobia

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, small business-owner and Reform Party member Vootele Päi responded to criticism sparked by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' plans to attend a commemorative concert-service at the Estonian church in Saint Petersburg next month.

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.