Thailand slips in digital quality index
Thailand fell five spots to 49th position out of 117 countries in the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), weighed down by internet affordability, according to cybersecurity firm Surfshark.
The report gauged the countries based on five fundamental digital well-being pillars: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability and e-security.
Thailand's worst ranking was internet affordability at 70th, while its best showing was internet quality at 15th.
The nation's e-infrastructure services tallied 47th, while e-government and e-security ranked 53rd and 57th, respectively.
In the face of surging inflation, fixed broadband internet has become less affordable worldwide for the second year in a row, prying the global digital divide even wider, the firm said.
Thailand's internet affordability needs to improve by 2,260% to match the best-ranking country's result (Israel), according to the report.
Residents can buy 1GB of mobile internet in Thailand for as cheap as 4 minutes 18 seconds of work per month, a 26% improvement on Sri Lanka.
However, compared with Israel, which has the most affordable mobile internet on the planet (5s per 1GB), Thais have to work 52 times longer.
Fixed broadband costs Thais around 4 hours, 45 minutes of work time each month.
To afford fixed broadband, Thais have to work 15 times longer than Israelis, for whom the most affordable package costs only 19 minutes of work monthly, according to the survey.
Since last year, broadband internet has become less affordable in Thailand, as people work 83 more minutes to afford fixed broadband internet service, the firm indicated.
According to Surfshark, internet quality in Thailand is impressive. On a global scale, fixed broadband internet quality is better than mobile.
Thailand's internet quality, considering internet speed, stability and growth, is 40% better than the global average, according to the survey.
Thailand's fixed broadband internet speed ranks higher than mobile in the global ranking, operating at 226.8 megabits per second (sixth globally).
The mobile internet ranks 40th (62.3 Mbps).
According to Surfshark, broadband globally is getting less affordable each year. People have to work six minutes more to afford broadband internet in 2022.
Israel ranks first in the study, pushing Denmark to second after two years in the pole position. Germany ranks third, while France and Sweden round out the top five.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cameroon are the bottom five countries.
"While countries with a strong digital quality of life tend to be advanced economies, our global study found that money doesn't always buy digital happiness," said Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, head of public relations at Surfshark.
"That is why, for the fourth year in a row, we continue analysing the Digital Quality of Life to see how different nations keep up with providing the basic digital necessities for their citizens. Most importantly, our research seeks to show the full picture of the global digital divide that millions of people are suffering from."