Bahrain has the highest internet penetration rate in the world, with 100% of its population connected to the worldwide web. Additionally, it boasts an internet quality that surpasses the global average by seven percent. This is according to Surfshark’s 2023 Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), which assesses digital well-being in 121 territories.
“In many nations, ‘digital quality of life’ has merged into the broader concept of overall ‘quality of life.’ There’s no other way to look at it now that so many daily activities, including work, education, and leisure, are done online,” expressed Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, spokesperson for Surfshark.
Bahrain’s digital well-being
In terms of the overall digital quality of life, Bahrain ranked 57th on DQL’s list. This marks a one-spot decline from the previous year. The index evaluates countries in five core pillars: quality, affordability, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government.
According to the latest data, Bahrain particularly excelled in e-infrastructure, securing the 36th spot. E-infrastructure plays a crucial role in facilitating daily online activities, including work, study, and shopping.
Meanwhile, it occupied the 48th spot in internet quality, a measure that assesses the speed, stability, and ongoing improvement of connectivity within a country.
Fixed internet in Bahrain averages 83 megabits per second (Mbps), while the world’s fastest fixed internet, found in Singapore, boasts speeds of 300 Mbps. Conversely, the world’s slowest fixed internet, in Yemen, registers just 11 Mbps. Meanwhile, Bahrain has an average mobile internet speed of 202 Mbps. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers the fastest mobile internet at 310 Mbps, while Venezuela has the slowest at 10 Mbps.
Over the past year, Bahrain has witnessed an impressive 97 percent improvement in mobile internet speed and a 9 percent increase in fixed broadband speed. This development could have contributed to Bahrain’s high internet penetration rate.
For internet affordability and e-government, the country was at the 57th place. The e-government pillar gauges a government’s digital service advancement and readiness for Artificial Intelligence.
To afford fixed broadband internet, Bahrainis must work for 2 hours and 17 minutes per month, slightly below the global average. For mobile internet, it takes them 1 hour, 21 minutes, and 24 seconds per month, which is in line with global standards.
Among all pillars, the country obtained its lowest rank in e-security, at the 68th spot. E-security evaluates a country’s preparedness to combat cybercrime and the advancement of its data protection laws. However, the said figure is already a huge improvement: It’s a 24-spot increase from the previous year.
How other GCC countries fared
Looking into how other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) fared in DQL’s list, the UAE is considered the top performer. Based on the overall digital quality of life, it ranked 38th globally. As stated, it also stands out as the country with the best internet quality in the world. Nonetheless, it is ranked 90th in e-security.
Meanwhile, Saudi ranked 45th overall. Its top metric is e-infrastructure, placing 28th among all 121 countries indexed. The country particularly faces challenges with internet affordability, its lowest-ranked metric at 74th.
Qatar placed 48th in terms of the overall digital quality of life. It further boasts good quality, ranking 19th worldwide. Oman and Kuwait occupied the 61st and 63rd spots, respectively, when it comes to general digital well-being.
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