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New Digital Connectivity Readiness Index sees infrastructure improvements, but adoption progress stalls


New Digital Connectivity Readiness Index sees infrastructure improvements, but adoption progress stalls

Today FarrPoint launches the second iteration of its Digital Connectivity Readiness Index (DCRI). The report aims to help digital decision-makers across the UK to better understand performance in their areas across various connectivity infrastructure and digital adoption metrics. This report provides the updated results for the UK and each of the constituent nations.

21 March 2024

All UK nations are steadily improving their performance on digital connectivity infrastructure, but progress on adoption is stalling - according to a benchmarking framework by connectivity consultants, FarrPoint.

FarrPoint’s Digital Connectivity Readiness Index (DCRI), first launched in autumn 2023 and due to be published three times a year, was designed to help policy makers and digital leaders understand how they perform across both digital infrastructure and adoption.

In the second DCRI report, the UK’s headline readiness score improved slightly since October 2023 – from 84 to 85. Below this, each of the nation’s saw improvements in their overall score, with England scoring 87 out of a possible 100, followed by Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales with scores of 81, 80 and 79 respectively.

DCRI March 2024 Results

As well as an overall score, the UK and each individual nation were also given sub-scores for infrastructure and adoption. All infrastructure scores improved, but on adoption, points stayed the same for England and Scotland, but fell slightly for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Download the full report

Indexes per nation

The scores contained within the DCRI are based on key metrics gathered from a series of data sources, including Ofcom and the Office for National Statistics. A robust approach to weighting has been used to ensure the indicators take into account commercial, regulatory and policy prioritisation considerations*. This delivers a result that is not only accurate, but also helps deliver real value when it comes to designing digital connectivity infrastructure, adoption and inclusion projects.

The analysis showed a range of differences in performance between the four nations on infrastructure and adoption:

Matthew Izatt-Lowry, Senior Economist at FarrPoint, said:


“Digital connectivity plays an increasingly crucial role in enabling economic growth, advancing progress towards achieving Net Zero goals, and enhancing social wellbeing."

“Our latest DCRI results show that all four UK nations have built upon their strong position to harness the full potential of digital, with overall headline scores increasing across all four nations. Because activity within the sector has largely focussed on the rollout of infrastructure networks, the results continue to be strongest on the infrastructure side. But without widespread adoption, this alone won’t yield any tangible benefits for households, communities or business.

“Unfortunately, the picture on the adoption front is less positive, and is much more mixed across the four nations. Progress has been made on indicators such as increasing general levels of people online and wellbeing, but challenges remain around affordability, skills and security.

“Decision makers within public bodies need to understand the strengths and challenges within their region to enable them to create an evidence-based digital strategy. We hope that our DCRI scores will help them to do that.”


Next report and next steps

The next FarrPoint Digital Connectivity Readiness Index results will be released in summer 2024. Sign up to FarrPoint alerts to be the first to hear about the new issue.

Undertaking the Digital Connectivity Readiness Assessment and defining the DCRI score is the first stage in (this will open in a new window)a 5-step plan that public bodies can take to understand the strengths and challenges within their region and to enable them to create a digital strategy and implementation plan.

We invite the public sector to get in touch with us and have a conversation about their DCRI scores.


*Figures for Oct 2023 have been updated in line with the latest revisions to underlying datasets

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