Russia is #9 in among nations when ranked for population size.
But it is #56 when ranked for usage of the Internet. A shocking 47 countries in the world have smaller total populations than Russia but more extensive usage of the Internet. Business usage of the Internet in Russia is a truly stunning world #95.
Looking further at the Runet, the picture gets even darker.
Russia ranks #90 for business innovation, #107 for growth of e-business, #108 for regulatory framework and #125 for intellectual property protection.
In fact, the only reason Russia ranks as high as it does, #54 for overall network readiness, is simply that Russia has a vast number of mobile users and improving broadband access for them. But the reason for this is that Russia’s land-line infrastructure is so utterly wretched that people have no choice but to opt for mobile phones. A tiny mobile phone is far from being the best way to fully access the wonders and power of global connectivity.
Costa Rica, Kazakhstan and Oman all rank higher than Russia does for overall network readiness.
Nobody can be surprised by this woeful performance given Russia’s draconian, neo-Soviet crackdown on the Runet. The Putin dictatorship relentlessly attacks online freedom, shutting down websites and prosecuting bloggers with impunity. For this reason, Russia will continue to languish as a backwards country, cut off from the progress of modernity and from the flow of information that is crucial to global competitiveness.