The Netherlands is one of the best performing countries in Europe and leads the way in information society developments. The only exceptions are in the supply of eGovernment services.
The Netherlands is one of the world’s leaders in the broadband ranking along with Denmark and Finland and now stands in third place with 34.2% (October 2007). Growth slowed down in 2007 with an increase on 2.4 percentage points between January and October 2007 compared to over 6 percentage points per year in the three preceding years. One possible explanation is that most (83%) households have an Internet connection and most of these (89%) have broadband.
Good connectivity translates into growth of use of advanced services. The Netherlands is first in Europe in online music and games and also for listening to web radio and watching web TV. The Netherlands also has improved in the use of Internet telephony/videoconferencing. In general, the Netherlands are well above EU average in usage of online services.
Online Public Services
Fully online availability for The Netherlands yet again increased significantly in 2007, from 53% to 63%. Sophistication reaches 83%, well above the EU average. It is interesting to note that services for citizens score almost as high as services for businesses. Furthermore, five out of the nine relevant services reach the fifth level of sophistication.
55% of Dutch citizens have used eGovernment in 2007, placing the country 2nd in terms of take-up. It tops the table when it comes to sending filled in forms electronically. Take-up by businesses is also high, at 16 points above the average. They are 3rd in sending filled in forms electronically. The Dutch Government wishes to take advantage of the opportunities offered by ICTs to improve the standard of service to the business community and the general public. Ultimately, that will mean that citizens may no longer be asked for information which is already available within the Government. The Dutch government acknowledges that ICTs are vital for reducing
administrative burdens for citizens and companies. A large part of the administrative reduction comes within range by effective use of ICTs, e.g. by offering online services and reuse of information. The (virtual) infrastructure must be further developed for this reason.
ICTs in the Economy
The Netherlands has reached one of the most advanced levels of development of information society without having a strong ICT sector or a high intensity in ICT research. Most other indicators show The Netherlands to be at the forefront of dissemination of ICTs in the economy, for example in use of e-business, in e-commerce and in the high level of ICT skills in the population and in the workforce.