Internet economy

OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012

Published on October 04, 2012


The Internet is now a fundamental infrastructure supporting the economy and is firmly in its 2nd stage of development, having evolved from a data network connecting PCs with wires to a much broader network of new portable devices from mobile phones to tablet computers. It is also on the cusp of a much larger expansion to objects that typically did not have communications capabilities: the “Internet of things” is projected to have more connections than the people using them. This raises many important socio-economic and political issues for stakeholders to consider, as economies and societies become increasingly inter-meshed.

Supported by time series data, this publication begins with an overview of trends and highlights how the Internet sector has proven to be resilient during the recent economic crisis. It then examines the various drivers and impacts of Internet use and deployment, as well as emerging technologies, broadband, e-commerce, e-health, digital content, security and privacy, and reflects on a methodology for measuring the Internet economy.


Executive summary
Expanding connectivity and measuring the Internet economy
ICTs, the Internet and the crisis: Macro trends
Internet trends and development
Internet adoption and use: Households and individuals
Internet adoption and use: Businesses
Developments in digital content
ICTs for health and ageing
Security and privacy
Government priorities and policy developments
Methodological considerations
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IT sector booms during downturn, says OECD
4 October 2012  
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This mobile app, available for free download on iTunes provides a statistical overview of the Internet economy in a format designed for mobile devices. It offers quick access to data on employment, connectivity, business usage, security and privacy related to the Internet economy.

Interactive charts

Wireless Internet access overtaking fixed broadband subscriptions



Internet access in OECD households, 2011 or latest available year



Broadband connections in OECD households, 2011 or latest available year



Businesses with a broadband connection, 2011 or latest available year



Performance trends of top 250 ICT firms, 2000-2011



Growth in monthly output in computer and related services,  December 2007-April 2012



Employment trends in the top 250 ICT firms by sector, 2000-11