OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015

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Author(s):
OECD
15 July 2015
Pages:
284
ISBN:
9789264232440 (PDF) ; 9789264239746 (EPUB) ;9789264232273(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/9789264232440-en

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The digital economy now permeates countless aspects of the world economy, impacting sectors as varied as banking, retail, energy, transportation, education, publishing, media or health. Information and Communication Technologies are transforming the ways social interactions and personal relationships are conducted, with fixed, mobile and broadcast networks converging, and devices and objects increasingly connected to form the Internet of things.
This report assesses how countries can maximise the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth, and discusses the evolutions in the digital economy that policy makers need to consider as well as the emerging challenges they need to address as a part of national digital strategies. Chapters include an overview of the current status and outlook of the digital economy; the main trends in the ICT sector, and developments in communication and regulation policy; and overviews of ICT demand and adoption, plus the effects of the digital economy on growth and development. This volume also includes a chapter on developments related to trust in the digital economy and on the emerging Internet of things.

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  • Foreword

    The OECD Digital Economy Outlook is a biennial series which examines and documents evolutions and emerging opportunities and challenges in the digital economy. It highlights how OECD countries and partner economies are taking advantage of ICTs and the Internet to meet their public policy objectives. Through comparative evidence, it informs policy makers of regulatory practices and policy options to help maximise the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth.

  • Executive summary

    The digital economy now permeates countless aspects of the world economy, impacting sectors as varied as banking, retail, energy, transportation, education, publishing, media or health. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are transforming the ways social interactions and personal relationships are conducted, with fixed, mobile and broadcast networks converging, and devices and objects increasingly connected to form the Internet of Things.

  • An overview of the digital economy

    The expansion of the digital economy has acted as a driver of economic growth in recent years and is transforming society as a whole. This chapter provides an overview of the current situation and likely evolution of the digital economy, and a synthesis of the publication. It highlights progress made and challenges ahead, drawing on national strategies, and concludes with an examination of the broader context of Internet governance issues.

  • The foundations of the digital economy

    The Internet, broadband networks, mobile applications, IT services and hardware constitute the foundations of the digital economy. This chapter examines recent trends and structural features of the ICT sector, telecommunication markets, and broadband infrastructures and services. By looking at growth in value added and employment, changes in international trade, R&D expenditures, innovation activities and communication revenue, penetration, network size, broadband speeds and prices, and IPv6 indicators, the chapter highlights the fundamental role of information and communication industries as a driver of growth and innovation in the digital economy.

  • The growing and expanding digital economy

    The digital economy transcends the ICT sector. While the Internet, broadband, mobile applications and IT services constitute its foundations, the digital economy today encompasses all sectors of the economy and society. The ways in which individuals use ICT goods and services affect the benefits they receive from the digital economy. The success and growth of firms is also crucially dependent on their capability to compete in the new economic environment, which ICTs are helping to shape. Despite the universal availability of ICTs, their use continues to differ across firms, individuals and countries. Difference in age and education significantly affect how people use the Internet. Differences in firm size and market characteristics influence the diffusion of e-business. This chapter looks at ICT usage by individuals and firms, the emergence of new sectors and new business models, and the overall contribution of the digital economy to growth and employment.

  • Main trends in communication policy and regulation

    The digital economy is based on efficient and reliable communication networks and services that need to be accessed ubiquitously, at competitive prices and at sufficient speeds. Communication policy and regulation are therefore increasingly important for achieving a vibrant digital economy. This chapter examines communication policy and regulatory developments in fixed and mobile networks, paying special attention to the emergence of over-the-top providers of traditional and new services. Policy responses to industry consolidation and the network neutrality debate take a prominent role, as does spectrum policy, international mobile roaming, public funding of communication networks and IPv6 initiatives. In particular, the chapter discusses convergence trends, the emergence of connected televisions and bundles of communication services to ascertain how they can best serve the interests of consumers.

  • Trust in the digital economy: Security and privacy

    Trust plays a vital role in social and economic interactions. It functions as a powerful tool in complex environments for reducing uncertainties and enabling reliance on others. Trust underpins business, institutional and personal relationships and is particularly important in the global online environment. The opportunities presented by the digital economy will not be realised in the absence of trust. This chapter examines two key elements of trust online: security and privacy. It covers a select number of trends, which taken together provide an overview of digital security and privacy, both in terms of the risks and responses.

  • Emerging issues: The Internet of Things

    This chapter explores convergence between ICTs and the economy on a grand scale, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The term implies the connection of most devices and objects over time to a network of networks. It encompasses developments in machine-to-machine communication, the cloud, big data and sensors, actuators and people. This convergence will lead to machine learning, remote control and eventually autonomous machines and systems. Estimates indicate that 25 billion devices could be connected by 2020, but challenges remain in gathering concrete and accurate data on the widespread use of IoT technology, now and in the future. Adoption will depend to a large extent on the capacity of governments to create an adequate regulatory framework in key areas including telecommunication, privacy and consumer policy.

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