DESI measures the digital economy by six levels: connectivity, human capital digital skills, use of internet services by citizens, integration of digital technology by businesses, digital public services, research, and development ICT. Going by the latest DESI, the European heads in digitalization are Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Although Cyprus’ total index is lower than the European average, it is the country that has made the maximum progress (by more than 15 points) over the last five years, including a visible attempt by the governmental sector of Cyprus to digitalize its services.
When it comes to connectivity (availability of internet connection), Cyprus is a European leader along with Malta, Netherlands, Luxembourg, UK, and France. The connectivity dimension weighs the organization of fixed and mobile broadband framework and its quality. Access to fast and ultrafast broadband-enabled services is an important condition for competitiveness, and in many industries, it is a vital condition for daily operations. In Cyprus, fixed broadband is available to 97 percent of Cypriots, and the average 4G mobile coverage is at 94 percent of the population.
At the same time, there are two parts of DESI where Cyprus does not gain the European average: the human capital digital skills and use of internet services by citizens. In simple terms, the population of Cyprus does not have the needed skills to use the Internet in the most effective way. Internet users in Cyprus do not know how to make the most use of the digital world, and they spend 81 percent of their time online on social networking.