New Index Sheds True Light on Global Digital Development: Latin American Countries Join the US and UK Amongst the Highest Outperformers

LONDON, July 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Telefónica has released the most comprehensive digital index ever developed, which assesses 34 countries worldwide on the extent of their digital development. Whilst the USA tops the Index with a total score (96.3/100), it is Canada, the UK, Colombia, Australia and Chile that lead in outperformance relative to their GDP Per Capita.

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The 'Telefonica Index on Digital Life' has revealed that the strength of digital life varies strongly across the world. It challenges the rudimentary way the digital economy is currently measured by taking a more holistic view of the different socio-economic components that combine to establish digital life within a particular economy. The comprehensive Index formula uniquely takes into account three components, informed by 50 different pre-existing sets of public data relating to digital life across the world:

1. OPENNESS: The ease of information flow within a particular economy (open access to technology and systems)

2. CONFIDENCE: The extent to which users engage with and trust the digital world (Incl. education and privacy)

3. ENTREPRENEURSHIP: How economic activities prosper in the digital environment (the freedom to innovate)

The Index suggests that bottlenecks exist in the global landscape, obstructing certain countries' ability to achieve a successful digital ecosystem on behalf of citizens. Telefónica has also published recommendations for governments and policy makers to improve bottlenecks and leverage strengths surfaced by the Index. The policy recommendations emphasise:

1. Regulatory conditions that affect market structure, open innovation and customer choice.

2. Legislation to encourage customer experience, freedom of expression, privacy and security.

3. Policies to support innovation, e-skills, cultural attitudes and the start-up ecosystem.

José María Álvarez-Pallete Lopez, Executive Chairman of Telefónica, said of the Index launch: "To unleash the full potential of the digital economy, we need forward-looking, fairer public policies and a better cooperation between all stakeholders, public and private. Without this, we risk a digital divide, which could not only threaten economic progress, but also the lives of citizens globally.

"Recent reports estimate that a 10% increase in digitalisation of the economy could increase GDP per capita growth rates by 40%. We need institutions, governments, unions, enterprises, policy makers and citizens to realise the full potential of the digital world for the benefit of society."

To download the full report, please visit:

SOURCE Telefónica

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