Foreigners rank Italy ‘worst place in Europe’ for internet and paying without cash


Foreigners rank Italy 'worst place in Europe' for internet and paying without cash
Is your Wifi in Italy fast enough to let you FaceTime? Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
International residents in Italy are less satisfied with digital services than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new expat survey.

 

Italy ranked 57th out of 68 countries around the world when foreign residents were asked to rate the ease of accessing high-speed internet, paying without cash, getting a mobile phone number and other basic digital services, says InterNations, an information and networking site for people living overseas.

Its Digital Life Abroad report places Italy not just behind everywhere in Europe but several countries with a far lower GDP, including Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

While three-quarters of expats worldwide were happy with their internet access at home, in Italy the number dropped to 61 percent. The same percentage said it was easy to pay in Italy without cash, compared to 78 percent globally.

Some 82 percent of foreigners in Italy said they’d found getting a mobile phone number simple, slightly below the global average of 86 percent.

International residents were marginally more satisfied with the availability of administrative or government services online, and positively happy with their access to social media: 81 percent of expats reported being satisfied on that count, just above the global average of 80 percent.

Italy has long lagged behind other EU countries when it comes to internet access (in fact it’s such a running joke that The Local once pulled an April Fools’ about it). According to the latest figures available from national statistics office Istat, just 69 percent of Italian households had an internet connection in 2016, plummeting to 21 percent among the over-65s.

Poorer, southern regions have proved the slowest to get online: in Calabria and Sicily, less than 60 percent of households were connected to the net.

Those of us who move abroad often find ourselves even more reliant on technology than most, whether it’s to keep in touch with people back home, work remotely, or manage bank accounts and other admin overseas.

Worldwide, newcomers were most impressed with digital services in Estonia, Finland and Norway, while Egypt, China and Myanmar performed worst.

InterNations questioned a total of 18,135 residents in 187 countries for its survey, but counted only countries where at least 75 people had taken part.

 

The Local\Italy

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Moved to the Big Tomata in the nineties from San Francisco. No Suburbs for me with its single colored houses and lawns and the excitement of pulling out my trash can once a week. I'm a CityFella , a part time New Yorker. I'm happiest in the Center City where people the streets and people are alive. I'm still waiting to buy a 34th floor condo somewhere downtown/Midtown with a nightclub. "Hurry I'm old" My politics are somewhere in the middle with a needle that constantly moves. I'm too liberal to be a Republican and too conservative to be a Democrat. Everything interests me . I've come to love Sacratomato, Its a nice town in cheap sensible shoes .

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