Internet and Electronic Commerce Indicators Update
T he growth of electronic commerce is being propelled by developments in the United States. The number of secure servers in the United States nearly doubled, between April 1999 and April 2000, to reach 52 000.
The Member countries leading in use of secure servers for electronic commerce, on a per capita basis, are the United States, Iceland, Australia, and New Zealand (Chart 1). In April 2000, the US had 193 secure servers per million inhabitants compared to Canada (101), UK (59), Germany (37), France (19), Japan (17), and Italy (12).
In March 2000, the United States had 185 Internet Hosts per 1000 inhabitants. This compared with 83 per 1000 for Canada, 41 per 1000 for the United Kingdom, 23 per 1000 for Germany and Japan, 16 per 1000 for France. Chart 2 shows the penetration rates for all OECD countries as at September 1999. Current penetration rates for some OECD countries are available from Telcordia's Netsizer .
Chart 3 shows the penetration rates of Internet hosts and secure servers. There are six countries ahead of the OECD average on both scales - Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.
The OECD regularly undertakes comparisons of Internet access prices. The most recent comparisons are for March 2000 . Chart 4 shows a correlation between the penetration of Internet hosts and the average price for Internet access, as recorded in successive OECD surveys, from 1995 to 2000.
Internet surveys of secure servers and hosts provide key indicators of Internet development and may be used as one potential indicator of comparative Internet development between countries. Historical data is available in the OECD Communications Outlook 1999 . These data are formulated from the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) survey undertaken by Netcraft .
Surveys of Internet hosts are undertaken by several entities. Network Wizards , on behalf of the Internet Software Consortium (ISC) , undertake the longest running host survey. This survey is carried out every six months. Alternatively, RIPE conduct a survey of Internet hosts every month for countries in their region. A third source of statistics is Telcordia .
Internet Access Pricing
The OECD regularly undertakes comparisons of Internet access prices. The most recent comparisons and background on the methodology are available here .
The Netcraft SSL Server survey provides one of the best available indicators of the growth of electronic commerce on the Internet. Whereas, the leading search engines only cover http sites, Netcraft also undertakes a secure socket layer (SSL) survey. The SSL protocol was developed by Netscape for encrypted transmission over TCP/IP networks. It sets up a secure end-to-end link over which http or any other application protocol can operate. The most common application of SSL is https (i.e. ssl-encrypted http), a leading enabler for electronic commerce over the Internet. For example, a user purchasing a product can use this technology to purchase goods and services over the Internet.
Network Wizards define an Internet host as a domain name that has an associated IP address record. This would be any computer system connected to the Internet (via full or part-time, direct or dial-up connections), such as oecd.org. The Network Wizards survey includes all country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs such as .be for Belgium) and generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs such as .com) and is undertaken every six months. One qualification that needs to be made is that host data, do not indicate the total number of users who can access the Internet. Surveys of Internet hosts may only be interpreted as the minimum size of the 'public Internet', as it is impossible to determine the number of users accessing services via each host. redistribute hosts under domain names such as .com, .net and .org to individual countries.
Telcordia Internet Sizer
Another source of host statistics is the NetSizer, Internet Sizer of Telcordia Technologies. This site provides daily updates of number of Internet hosts based on a random sample of IP addresses sampled throughout every day. Because NetSizer collects and analyses the data continuously, estimates are provided on a real time basis. Telcordia provides hosts by country as well as by top level and second level domains. The former is computed by redistributing the hosts with three letter domains (e.g. com, net, etc.) to individual countries and then adding them to the hosts by two letter country domains.
For background information refer to "Internet Infrastructure Indicators" .
Link to Internet Access Price Comparison
Link to other Internet Indicators
Latest update 03 October 2000