Digital Quality of Life

Author: Kevin Fortune

Digital Quality of life

We’ve all heard of the Quality of Life Index that offers standards in an attempt to measure a country’s overall well-being.  However, especially in today’s post-pandemic, even more heavily internet-reliant world – where water 💧 almost rivals WiFi as a need – of equal importance to us is the Digital Quality of Life Index.

Now in its 3rd year of this research, Surfshark, a cybersecurity company, reveals the factors that affect the digital health of a country. In a previous article, we promised to explore the reasons (and consequences) of limited e-commerce options in this age of E-everything. Think of this article as a diagnosis and breakdown of the symptoms. (Medication and therapy measures in a future post.)

Out of 110 countries measured, Jamaica (ranked 91st) and Trinidad (77th down from 64th last year) were the two Caribbean countries that made the list. 🤷

The report used five fundamental pillars including:

  • Internet Affordability – How much time do people have to work to afford internet connection?
  • Internet Quality – How fast and stable is internet connectivity in a country and how well is it improving?
  • Electronic Infrastructure How well developed and inclusive is the country’s existing electronic infrastructure?
  • Electronic Security How safe and protected do people in a given country feel against cybercrimes and online privacy?
  • Electronic Government How advanced and digitized is a country’s government services?

While most Caribbean territories have on average 90% mobile📱penetration and 50% Internet 💻 penetration, it would seem that we have the fundamentals of an okay start. But we have a long way to go.

But how is this information beneficial to you? It is no secret that lack of internet access has been a major setback for providing solutions to many issues in the Caribbean. Increased data, allowing more of the population to have true digital access, then, is the first step.

Vytautas Kaziukonis, Surfshark’s CEO summed it up nicely. “The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made.”

Did we hear a collective groan 😫 at the term “meaningful discussions?” Yeah, we thought so! However, if we don’t face the problem of how we as the Caribbean plan to deal with advancing our digital infrastructure head-on, it’s never going to go away!  (It may even cause us to fall a step back: look at Trinidad and Tobago’s ranking last year versus this year, for instance and we observe a regression.)  And we can all agree that when it comes to digital technologies that advance at the speed of light, if standing still is undesirable, then falling backward is a serious problem, especially for those trying to do business with limited speed, reliability and infrastructure.

Check out the details of Trinidad’s and Jamaica’s rankings in terms of what they were good and not so good at, that determine the digital quality of life in those countries.

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