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OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012

image of OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012

The Internet is now a fundamental infrastructure supporting the economy and is firmly in its 2nd stage of development, having evolved from a data network connecting PCs with wires to a much broader network of new portable devices from mobile phones to tablet computers. It is also on the cusp of a much larger expansion to objects that typically did not have communications capabilities: the “Internet of things” is projected to have more connections than the people using them. This raises many important socio-economic and political issues for stakeholders to consider, as economies and societies become increasingly inter-meshed.

Supported by time series data, this publication begins with an overview of trends and highlights how the Internet sector has proven to be resilient during the recent economic crisis. It then examines the various drivers and impacts of Internet use and deployment, as well as emerging technologies, broadband, e-commerce, e-health, digital content, security and privacy, and reflects on a methodology for measuring the Internet economy.

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Executive summary

The Internet began as a way of linking different computers over the phone network, but it now connects billions of users worldwide from wherever they happen to be via portable or fixed devices. People with no access to water, electricity or other services may have access to the Internet from their mobile phone. The Internet is a multi-billion dollar industry in its own right, but it is also a vital infrastructure for much of the world’s economy. The OECD Internet Economy Outlook provides data on the evolving Internet economy, emphasises trends across the OECD area, and highlights emerging policy issues.

English

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