UK ranked third in internet impact report header image

The UK has been ranked third in the World Wide Web Foundation's Web Index for 2013.

Launched last year, the index rates nations based on their level of internet access, the amount of relevant content online, the freedom and openness of the web and the impact it has on people.

The UK came in third with an overall score of 95.6 out of 100. It received the highest possible rating for relevant content, while impact was given 87.3 and access was scored at 86.2. Freedom and openness was lower however at 73.5.

Sweden and Norway took first and second spot with total ratings of 100 and 97.5 respectively. The US and New Zealand followed the UK to complete the top five. 

In 80 per cent of the countries studied for the index, the web and social media played a key role in social mobilisation and in half of these cases it was one of the key factors.

Commenting on the index, Sir Tim Berners-Lee - inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, stated: "One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the Web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world."

However, he also warned "bold steps" are needed to stop governments in certain countries from increasing surveillance of the internet and infringing people's privacy.

This report demonstrates the positive impact the web can have on society and the UK's high ranking shows Britons are benefiting from this. 

However, research has suggested the country is still lagging behind other nations when it comes to the speed of broadband connections. Akamai's latest State of the Internet report rated the UK's internet as only the tenth fastest in the world and the fifth fastest in Europe and this may prevent people from enjoying the benefits of the web even further.