Report. Connected Poland. How the Internet is Transforming Poland s Economy

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1 Report Connected Poland How the Internet is Transforming Poland s Economy

2 The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 74 offices in 42 countries. For more information, please visit

3 Connected Poland How the Internet is Transforming Poland s Economy Grzegorz Cimochowski Franciszek Hutten-Czapski Magdalena Rał November 2011 Commissioned by bcg.com

4 The Boston Consulting Group, Inc All rights reserved. For more information, please contact the Warsaw office of BCG at: The Boston Consulting Group, sp. z o. o. Zebra Tower, 6th floor Mokotowska Warsaw Poland For permission to reprint, please contact BCG at: Fax: , attention BCG/Permissions Mail: BCG/Permissions The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. One Beacon Street Boston, MA USA

5 Table of Content Preface 4 Executive Summary 5 Poland s Internet Economy: A Snapshot 7 Active Internet Users in Poland 8 Digital Exclusion 8 Internet Economy: GDP and Beyond 9 Internet GDP Calculated 11 GDP and Beyond: The Internet and Polish Consumers 12 GDP and Beyond: The Internet and Polish Businesses 13 GDP and Beyond: Social Benefits and Concerns over the Internet 14 Internet Intensity 16 E-Intensity Worldwide 16 Regional Differences in E-Intensity 19 How the Internet is Transforming the Polish Economy 21 Banks: The Courage to Innovate 21 Commerce: Online Sales and Beyond 22 Travel: The Basic Source of Information 23 Enthusiasm and Resistance: Internet in SMEs 25 Poland s Internet Economy: Getting Bigger 33 The Growing Importance of the Internet in the Development of Poland s Economy 34 Appendix: Methodology 36 Note to the Reader 39 Connected Poland 3

6 Preface The Internet has been available in Poland for 20 years. Beginning in the summer of 1991 with academic experiments, it has since evolved into a key driver of social transformation and economic progress. It has also become a mass communications medium used by the majority of Polish people. In spite of its evident impact, it has been difficult to meaningfully estimate the size and growth of Poland s internet economy. This independent report, commissioned by Google Poland, fills that gap by providing a clearer picture of the Internet s impact on Poland s economy and its role in powering economic growth, both today and in the future. About the Authors This report was a collaborative effort between Grzegorz Cimochowski, Franciszek Hutten-Czapski and Magdalena Rał from The Boston Consulting Group and is one of a series of reports prepared for 11 countries. Grzegorz Cimochowski is a principal in the Warsaw office of The Boston Consulting Group. He can be contacted by at Franciszek Hutten-Czapski is a partner and managing director of the Warsaw office of The Boston Consulting Group. He can be contacted at Magdalena Rał is a consultant in the Warsaw office of The Boston Consulting Group, and can be contacted at 4 The Boston Consulting Group

7 Executive Summary The Internet economy is becoming an important sector of the Polish economy. Entrepreneurs and consumers are increasingly more interested and confident in leveraging the opportunities offered by the Internet. The purpose of this report is to describe and measure the Polish Internet economy since this has not yet been investigated. In 2009, the Polish Internet economy reached 35.7 billion PLN, or 2.7% of GDP. In 2009, the share of the Polish Internet economy was less than half that of the Northern European countries but higher than that of Southern European countries such as Spain and Italy. The value of the Polish Internet economy is greater than the added value of the mining sector (traditionally the important one), but it is still less than the contribution of most other sectors of the economy. The Polish Internet economy is primarily driven by consumer spending led by e-commerce, which generates 62% of revenue or 22 billion PLN. The Polish Internet economy is distinguished by the small level of government investment, both in terms of the total amount (5 billion PLN) and as a percent of GDP (0.4%). However, the impact of the Internet on the Polish economy is much greater than is apparent from its GDP contribution as a significant number of consumer and business activities on the Internet are not directly included in GDP. Nearly 60% of households in Poland already have Internet access, and Polish Internet users spend 14.5 hours online per week, 0.5 hours more than they spend watching television. Online shopping, which represents 2.9% of retail business, saves Internet users approximately 15% compared to what they would spend in traditional shops, even a er shipping costs are included. On the other hand, purchases made in traditional shops a er researching and price checking online - which account for 6% of retail sales - are approximately 80% higher in value than e-commerce. Polish consumers are more active users of the Internet than Polish businesses. Polish Internet users are rigorous about searching for information online (Poles are at the forefront of Europe in this regard), contributing user-generated content (Poles rank second in the world for the number of articles in their language per capita on Wikipedia), using innovative open source so ware to reduce costs, using cloud services, and actively using the Internet for communication (for example, via Skype and Gadu Gadu). Internet use by businesses continues to be limited. Polish entrepreneurs are increasingly advertising on the Internet (accounting for approximately 13% of total advertising spend) but rarely use more advanced online tools to realize productivity gains, which puts Poland at the bottom of international rankings. The Internet is increasingly penetrating more and more sectors of the Polish economy. In banking, retail trade and tourism, it has already paved the way Connected Poland 5

8 for significant transformations, triggering a wave of innovations to increase efficiency and facilitate consumer choice. Online banking blazed the trail for the Internet economy 10 years ago, building confidence in the Internet by showing the benefits of a service channel available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and introducing flexible savings accounts, which are now used by both online and offline customers. In the retail sector, price savings of approximately 15% and access to a wider product range have led the Internet to have a direct (e-commerce) and indirect (the so-called ROPO effect, Research Online Purchase Offline, where consumers research purchase online but make the final purchase in a traditional shop) impact on nearly 9% of retail trade in Poland; in some categories (e.g. electronics or home and garden), the impact is even greater (20-30% of sales). In tourism, the Internet has become the primary source of travel information and the basis for decision making, although most transactions are still made in the traditional manner in company offices or by telephone. The Polish Internet base, namely companies that support businesses in their use of the Internet, has achieved revenues of approximately 2.7% of GDP and employs roughly 50,000 people, or 0.3% of total employment. More than half of the revenue is generated by Internet service providers selling access services and internet connection devices. Polish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generally only use the Internet for basic purposes. Our studies show that SMEs which actively use the web have been able to increase their employment and revenue faster, have a greater range of operations and export more. According to research conducted by BCG, most SMEs have a website (98%) and (over 95%), but rarely (less than 15%) use more advanced options offered by the Internet (such as online payments, paid Internet advertising and social networking tools). The percentage of companies using the Internet actively (about 51%) is lower in Poland than in Western European countries (about 70%); SMEs using the Internet in a limited manner ( , web access) feel that increased Internet activity is not necessary in their industry. Businesses surveyed recognized that the Internet opens up access to new clients and geographies, improves efficiency, increases the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and enables better interaction with the customer (through gathering feedback and opinions). In BCG s international ranking of Internet usage rates, Poland comes out poorly compared to many other OECD countries; this is mainly due to insufficient development of the Internet infrastructure and limited online activity. The Internet usage rate in Poland is very low due to the limited availability of broadband connections (over 40% of enterprises have a connection speed of less than 256 kb/s) and the relatively low Internet activity of public institutions and enterprises. There is only minor regional variation in Internet usage, although provinces that are more urbanized and have a greater concentration of businesses (Mazowieckie, Dolnośląskie, Wielkopolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie) show more intensive Internet use. The Polish Internet economy has a strong growth potential and is estimated to grow twice as fast as GDP (14% per year) over the next five years, reaching at least 4.1% of the GDP in In the optimistic scenario, the Internet economy may reach as much as 4.9% of GDP by 2015, or more than the current contribution of the financial services sector. The main contributor to growth will be online consumer spending (with an increase of 16% per annum), stimulated largely by higher Internet penetration (75% of households in 2015). The growth of the Polish economy over the long term will increasingly depend on the level of advancement of the Internet economy and on investment in human capital (e.g. on the competence and skill of employees). 6 The Boston Consulting Group

9 Poland s Internet Economy A Snapshot In Poland, the Internet has been around for 20 years. The first TCP/IP message was sent between Warsaw University and Copenhagen University in the summer of Despite being a few years behind Western countries, Polish people quickly embraced the new technology. The Internet has become a platform for a wealth of economic initiatives and innovations. During the era of the centrally planned economy, computer studies provided a playground for private entrepreneurship. Furthermore, Poland s academic computer scientists have an excellent international reputation. The university departments educate a steady flow of accomplished scientists and professionals. Polish students, together with their Russian and Chinese counterparts, have dominated international computer science competitions for over decade, whilst US company TopCoder ranks Polish universities third in its international programming competitions. The first Polish websites and portals, developed in the mid 1990s, matched the standard of their US and UK counterparts. Poland, like Western countries, also saw the Internet investment fever that generated the first digital fortunes followed by a wave of spectacular bankruptcies. Still, the best initiatives, such as Onet and Wirtualna Polska, survived these turbulent times and continue to thrive. During the first decade of the twenty first century, Poland s economy and Internet users were very receptive to Internet innovations. Prime examples included Gadu-Gadu, the most popular Polish instant messaging service, and the enthusiastically welcomed Skype so ware, both services that directly addressed the needs of Internet users. The huge potential of the Polish Internet market has been demonstrated by the annual Google Zeitgeist survey, which uses search statistics to locate significant online trends both globally and by nation. In 2008 it rated Nasza-klasa.pl, a Polish social-networking site, the seventh fastest-rising search term globally. While facing tough competition from Facebook, Nasza-klasa.pl (Nk.pl) continues to be top-ranked among the most popular Polish websites; it was the top Polish search term in the 2010 Zeitgeist survey and listed third by Megapanel PBI/ Gemius in January In the two decades since the first academic experiments with the Internet in Poland, it has evolved into a mass communication medium that has exerted, and will continue to exert, a strong impact on the national economy. It streamlines offline business processes and stimulates the development of new online business models. Poland offers numerous notable examples of how Internet opportunities can be exploited, notably Gadu-Gadu s instant messaging, mbank s e-bank, Nk.pl s social platform, and Allegro.pl s online auction platform. At the same time, other promising initiatives have encountered serious difficulties and failed to capitalise on the full potential of the Internet. What else can be said about the importance and size of Poland s Internet economy? It defies easy quantification, and the question has not been widely studied. Yet without an understanding of the Internet economy and its structures, policymakers and business executives will struggle to develop strategic and informed decisionmaking. Connected Poland 7

10 Active Internet Users in Poland 60 percent of Polish households have an Internet connection, and Internet users consider it a basic tool for communication and social-networking. World Internet Project Poland 2010 found that Polish Internet users spent 14.5 hours online per week, 30 minutes more than they spent watching television. It also found social differences in patterns of Internet use. On average, men devote 16.3 hours a week to online activities and women 12.6 hours. The most active Internet users are under 30, mostly city dwellers and university graduates. The Internet is most o en used at home. Mobile access is becoming more common, but as yet, only 8 percent of users are estimated to access the Internet with devices such as mobile phones, smartphones and notebooks. Mobile phone access is mainly used to make up for the shortage of fixed infrastructure (Ericsson Consumer Lab 2009). At the same time, mobile Internet users spend longer online, averaging 21 hours per week (World Internet Project Poland 2010). Polish Internet users are most likely to search for information, entertainment, and education services. The Web is also playing a bigger role in commerce - 78 percent of Internet users research products online, 63 percent shop online, and 47 percent use the Internet to pay their bills. Polish is ranked fourth in terms of the total volume of content generated behind English, German and French, and Polish ranks second behind Dutch in terms of the number of entries per Internet users in their native language. Digital Exclusion Poland s positive overall statistics for online engagement conceal problems of digital exclusion. More than 40 percent of Poles are non-users. Half of the non-users see no reason to go online. Seventy-eight percent of over 50s, more than 10 million citizens, are non-users refusing to go online even if they have Internet access at home. They include both private citizens and businessmen. Financial and infrastructure problems are not the only reasons for digital exclusion. Lack of motivation and skills also play a role. While these challenges may be partially mitigated through education, neither the private sector nor public authorities are addressing the issue. As a result, the advantages offered by the Internet economy are not being fully exploited in Poland. 8 The Boston Consulting Group

11 Internet Economy GDP and Beyond T he Internet s influence on commerce and society in Poland is undeniable. Some indicators of impact, such as the number of online transactions, are visible and easy to measure. Others, such as gains in productivity and business competitiveness due to innovation, are less obvious and more difficult to quantify. We have broken down the Internet s economic impact into four key parts (illustrated in Exhibit 1). The first includes transactions that have a direct impact on GDP (the inner circle shown in Exhibit 1). They include digital transactions such as e-books bought online at Empik.pl s bookshop and printed books bought online at Merlin.pl s bookshop and mailed to the buyer. Online shoppers must first pay a subscription fee for Internet access. Consumer spending includes both online shopping (using the internet as a transaction platform) and these subscription fees. It is a key pillar of the Internet economy, along with other contributors such as investments in ICT technologies, government spending, and the export and import of ICT products and services. Exhibit 1. Impact of the Internet goes beyond the GDP affecting Internet economy Ring 1. Consumer and business economic impacts not captured by GDP, including: Business-to-business e-commerce (B2B) Online advertising Consumer benefits, including: Savings on online shopping Research online purchase offline Benefits from using free content Polish Internet economy captured by GDP, including: Consumption, private investment, government spending and net exports Ring 2. Productivity impacts, including: Productivity gains from e-procurement in manufacturing Productivity gains through e-sales in wholesale and retail trade Ring 3. Broader social impacts, including: User-generated content Social networking Fraud and piracy Sources: BCG analysis. Connected Poland 9

12 Three ways to quantify the size of the Internet economy There are three alternative methods of calculating GDP. None was designed with the Internet economy in mind: The output or production method measures value created through the production of goods and services. The income method measures total income earned by individuals and companies. The expenditure method measures total domestic spending and the balance of foreign trade. The output method is theoretically the best way to measure the Internet s contribution to GDP. It is the approach used to calculate the contributions of most traditional sectors in the economy. But using this method would mean looking at every transaction of every good or service produced in the Polish economy and deciding whether it is online or offline. This is not practical with current data. The weakness of the income method is the many assumptions that would have to be made about the share of income of traditional companies to be allocated to the Internet, and the share of income of multinational companies to be allocated to Poland. These assumptions would call into question the accuracy of the final calculation. Although the expenditure method is imperfect, we chose to use this approach. It is built on four pillars: Consumption: Goods and services bought by households in Poland over the Internet and consumer spending on Internet access. Investment: Capital investment by telecom companies related to the Internet as well as Internet-related private investments in information and communications technology (ICT). Public spending: Public spending on ICT. Net exports: Online goods and services and ICT equipment exported minus comparable imports. It is also important to be clear about the assumptions included in the Internet s contribution to Poland s economy. The full value of goods sold online is included because it gives a sense of the importance of the Internet as a retail channel. Most online transactions terminate in the physical world, so are not pure online transactions (unlike, say, buying and downloading games online). Many, though, might not have taken place without the Internet as a catalyst. Data on the online value generated at each link in the value chain (inquiries, orders, delivery) is unavailable and estimating it would result in a false level of accuracy. See the Methodology appendix for more detail about the underlying assumptions. As well as directly influencing GDP, the Internet creates ripples that move through the rest of the economy. These include supporting new types of innovative businesses and bringing down transaction costs, uniting and facilitating contacts between buyers and sellers otherwise unlikely to transact, speeding up transactions and deliveries, and enabling consumers to rapidly compare prices, thus reducing information asymmetry between buyers and sellers. We have divided these beyond GDP effects into three parts. They are shown as the three outer rings surrounding the inner circle. Ring 1: This covers significant economic impact on customers and businesses which go beyond a direct share in GDP. They include business-to-business e-commerce, online advertising, and consumer benefits such as savings from comparing prices, checking offers online before buying a product offline (ROPO) and access to free content. Ring 2: This covers the impact on manufacturing productivity. One example is the use of e-procurement and automated supply chains, leading to improved customer relationships and management systems. Ring 3: This covers both the positive social effects of the Internet, such as improved communication, better ways of staying connected, and user-generated content models, as well as the negative effects such as cybercrime and copyright infringements. 10 The Boston Consulting Group

13 Internet GDP Calculated The measurable size of Poland s Internet economy in 2009 was PLN 35.7 billion, accounting for 2.7 percent of GDP. While this is less than other market sectors, such as industry, real estate and agriculture, 2009 saw a significant breakthrough. Only 18 years a er the first TCP/IP message was sent from Poland, the value of the Internet economy exceeded that of the mining sector (2 percent of GDP), formerly the major contributor to Polish GDP, and still a disproportionately large influence on social and political life. Poland s Internet economy is driven mainly by consumer spending (PLN 22 billion in 2009), which contributes twice as much as business investments and four times as much as public spending. Seventy percent of consumer spending is accounted for by online shopping (including financial services and travel). The remainder is divided between expenditure on Internet access (19 percent) and on devices to access the Internet (11 percent). In the highly developed economies of Western and Northern Europe, the share of these private spending categories is half that of Poland. Business investment in the Internet is double public spending, which can be explained by the relatively high spend of telecom companies in the early stages of infrastructure development. However, Poland s public spending is low, both in absolute terms (PLN 5 billion) and in relation to GDP (0.4 percent), putting it in line with developing nations. By contrast, Northern European countries, which have considerably higher GDPs, spend twice as much in relation to GDP. A further drag on the value of Poland s Internet economy is a negative foreign trade balance (0.4 percent) in ICT goods and services (mainly attributable to computer and telecom device imports). A positive balance, as seen in the Czech Republic (0.8 percent) where several international computer are based, would further stimulate the growth of Internet economy. Exhibit 2. If the Internet were a separate sector, it would generate 2.7 percent of Poland s GDP Sector size as a share of GDP (%) Manufacturing 19 Wholesale and retail commerce 18 Real estate 14 Transportation, logistics, communication 7 Construction 7 Public administration and defense 6 Education 5 Other services 5 Financial services 4 Health and social work Power, fuel, water 4 4 Farming, forestry, fishing 4 Mining 2 Hotels and restaurants 1 Polish Internet economy: 2.7% Sources: IAB; GUS; EIU; UKE; OVUM; Gartner; OECD; BCG analysis. Note: The size of the Polish Internet economy and of the various sectors were calculated using different GDP methodologies. Connected Poland 11

14 Overall, Poland ranks similarly to the less advanced Internet economies of Southern Europe, such as Spain or Italy, where the Internet economy contributes 2 percent to GDP. In developed Northern European countries, such as Sweden or Denmark, the Internet economy contributes 5-6 percent of GDP, and in the UK, more than 7 percent. Consumption drives the Polish Internet economy. E-commerce is well developed, with the number of online shops having increased two and a half times since Allegro.pl, a commercial platform bringing online shops and consumers together (with B2C transactions forming the majority of Allegro s turnover) is the hallmark of Poland s e-commerce sector. E-commerce accounted for 2.9 percent of retail trading in more than Russia, the same as Italy, and slightly less than the Czech Republic and Spain. The 2.9 percent share is satisfactory, especially given poor Internet penetration (only 60 percent of households), and should rise sharply with the development of the Internet infrastructure and reach. E-commerce accounts for more than 10 percent of retail trading in some more advanced Internet economies. GDP and Beyond: The Internet and Polish Consumers The estimated share of GDP is only a partial reflection of the Internet s influence on the Polish economy. Many online consumer and business activities are not reflected in GDP estimates. The internet has become an important forum to share information and communicate around product research, reviews and feedback. Increasingly it is where consumers join forces to assert their rights. Consumers now raise complaints via traditional media and online, and protests on the Internet can influence companies as well as regulators and supervisory bodies. E-commerce in Poland still has a long way to go to match advanced internet economies such as the UK, but Polish Internet users have already begun to research products and services online. ComScore.com reports that in August 2010 Poles generated the highest number of searches per user in Europe. In 2009, the value of researched-online, purchased-offline (ROPO) goods reached PLN 26 billion, more than 80 percent higher than online purchases. Exhibit 3. Consumer spending contributes the most to the Internet economy Consumer spending 22 Business investment 13 Government spending 5 Exports 12 Imports 16 Internet economy 36 bn PLN 2.7% Share of GDP Sources: IAB; GUS; EIU; UKE; OVUM; Gartner; OECD; BCG analysis. 12 The Boston Consulting Group

15 Exhibit 4. Size of the Internet economy as a proportion of GDP - international comparison Sector size as a share of GDP (%) UK Sweden Denmark Czech Republic Poland Spain Italy Northern Europe Central-Eastern Europe Southern Europe Sources: GDP estimates for individual countries; BCG analysis. The most popular online or ROPO products are consumer electronics, cars, books and travel. While e-commerce has made little inroad into food and beverages (the largest retail sector with 27 percent of total business), the Internet is a preferred source of information about food and a popular opinion sharing medium. Engagement by Polish Internet users is a matter of common sense - Internet use pays dividends. Online shoppers can save up to 25 percent. Even when shipment costs are included, online prices are still 15 percent lower than offline. When transportation costs are included, cosmetics, household equipment and electronics are the most costeffective online purchases. The differential is lowest for books, with shipment costs significantly increasing final prices. GDP and Beyond: The Internet and Polish Businesses The Internet offers some obvious advantages to both consumers and businesses. Nearly all Polish businesses have access to the Internet and . Since 2007 online advertising has grown by roughly 30 percent per annum - reaching PLN 1.4 billion or 13 percent of overall business advertising expenditure. However, engagement varies sharply by sector with banking, retail and travel the unquestionable leaders. The Internet has become a powerful tool for customer communication and a global commercial platform. B2B (business-to-business) online transactions are now worth more than PLN 120 billion, eight times more than B2C (businessto-consumer) online transactions, and account for 5 percent of all B2B transactions. However, the actual extent of online business has not yet been reliably quantified. Available data suggests that businesses, especially SMEs, have shown only moderate interest in the Internet. Despite the wealth of opportunities it offers, only 30 percent of SMEs use advanced stock management, e-learning or dispatch tracking tools, and still fewer use the Internet for selling or buying goods and services. Only 8 percent of businesses with more than eight employees sell online, and only 12 percent purchase online. Polish companies are also infrequent users of enterprise resource planning tools (e.g. IT tools designed to support management). In this respect, Polish SMEs are ranked twenty-sixth among the twenty seven EU member states. Connected Poland 13

16 Exhibit 5. Average savings from online shopping, including shipping costs Online shopping savings 1 (%) Cosmetics Household appliances Consumer electronics Vitamins, diet substitutes Other Games and toys Home furnishings Clothes and shoes Books and multimedia Sources: Allegro; Ceneo; BCG analysis. 1 Including shipping and handling. GDP and Beyond: Social Benefits and Concerns Over the Internet The Internet has become integral to economic and social life, influencing the market in many ways. It aids innovation and enables the development of service models and products that would otherwise be impossible. Wikipedia, YouTube, the blogosphere and open source so ware all show how the Internet can be used to develop social production models. User generated content is not directly captured by GDP but aids all Internet users. Free content puts commercial content providers under pressure, stimulates innovation, improves productivity and contributes to the development of new service models. Salon24.pl, which evolved from a collection of non-professional blogs into a powerful blogging platform that generates income from advertisements and marketing services, exemplifies this phenomenon. Similarly open source so ware, such as OpenOffice, Firefox or Chrome, is available to all users and inexpensive to operate. They can help reduce company operating costs, particularly for SMEs, and boost competitiveness. Cloud computing, with services such as Google Docs giving access to so ware, data storage, website development and network cooperation tools at low or no cost, will soon have a similar effect. The Internet can, however, also negatively affect the economy. Cybercrime is a major threat, involving all types of copyright infringements (illegal sale and use of so ware, sharing of music and movies and use of registered trademarks), that reduces the measurable value of the Internet economy. It also includes identity the, breaking into private and corporate computers, credit card and bank account data the. As well as creating direct financial losses, these crimes affect consumer confidence in the safety of the Internet economy. 14 The Boston Consulting Group

17 Exhibit 6. Use of advanced Internet tools by SMEs - international comparison Enterprises using the Internet to support procurement Enterprises making purchases online Enterprises selling products and services online Enterprises using ERP systems Belgium Norway 50 Ireland Norway Sweden 50 Sweden Belgium Denmark Norway Germany Greece Sweden Austria Croatia France Malta Estonia Cyprus Poland Romania Denmark Netherlands UK Czech Rep. Luxemburg Slovenia Portugal Spain Hungary Italy Latvia Bulgaria Ireland Czech Rep. Iceland Portugal France Estonia Slovenia Poland Latvia UK Germany Austria Luxemburg Netherlands Finland Lithuania Croatia Spain Malta Italy Hungary Slovakia Cyprus Romania Bulgaria Denmark Sweden Germany Czech Rep. Finland Luxemburg Austria Spain Greece Poland Slovakia Latvia Bulgaria Belgium Lithuania Netherlands Ireland Portugal Iceland UK France Slovenia Estonia Hungary Cyprus Romania Italy Finland Austria Spain Ireland Norway Slovakia Cyprus Poland Lithuania Hungary Denmark Portugal France Italy Czech Rep. Romania Malta Croatia Bulgaria Iceland Latvia Estonia Sources: Eurostat, data for Connected Poland 15

18 Internet Intensity The Internet impacts the economy in a variety of areas, depending on specific interdependencies and correlations. It has huge growth potential, which has been limited by a number of factors: poor infrastructure development, lack of awareness, and insufficient skills of private and business users. E-Intensity Worldwide BCG has devised its e-intensity Index as a means of measuring the reach of the Internet in commerce and society. It is made up of three measures reflecting the extent of Internet use by businesses, consumers and the government: Exhibit 7. Poland finishes low on the BCG e-intensity Index Country Score Country Score Denmark 140 South Korea 139 Japan 138 Sweden 134 Netherlands 129 UK 128 Norway 125 Finland 124 Germany 120 Iceland 111 USA 109 Luxemburg 109 Australia 108 France 105 Austria 103 Belgium 102 Switzerland 101 Ireland 99 New Zealand 95 Canada 91 Spain 86 Czech Republic 83 Portugal 80 Hungary 76 Slovakia 70 Poland 65 Italy 63 Greece 54 Sources: Akamai; Eurostat; Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; OECD; UN; MagnaGlobal; BCG analysis. Note: The index is scaled so that the geometric mean equals The Boston Consulting Group

19 Infrastructure (50 percent weighting) measures the availability of Internet, its quality and speed estimated on the basis of: penetration of broadband subscriptions (mobile and fixed), download and upload speeds, and smartphone penetration. Expenditure on online activities (25 percent weighting) compares the expenditure of businesses and consumers online. It is based on relative measures consisting of e-commerce B2C expenditures and expenditure on online advertising as compared to retail sales. Engagement (25 percent weight) defines the extent to which businesses, government and consumers use the Internet. It is based on the number of businesses with a website, the proportion of the population which has bought or sold online, and the proportion of citizens and businesses which have interacted with the government online. The BCG e-intensity Index provides a measure for comparing the intensity of Internet use in various countries. Poland s BCG e-intensity Index score is one of the lowest internationally. It scores only around half the level of other Northern and Western European countries, and lower than Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. This performance is mainly attributable to poor infrastructure development and weak engagement in online activities. Poland has the lowest infrastructure score of any of the 28 countries surveyed. The hope is that government programmes co-funded by the EU to develop a broadband infrastructure will improve matters in the next few years. The Innovative Economy Operational Programme, the Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland and 16 regional operational programmes have been designed to tap into roughly EUR 1 billion allocated by the European Regional Development Fund to improve access to broadband Internet. Exhibit 8. Poland is ranked in the lowest quartile of the Enablement subindex Enablement Expenditure Engagement South Korea UK Norway Japan Denmark Denmark Sweden USA Netherlands Netherlands Germany Sweden Iceland Sweden Australia Switzerland Finland New Zealand Austria Japan Switzerland Denmark Netherlands Canada Finland Luxemburg Finland Norway Norway USA Belgium Czech Republic Iceland Germany South Korea UK Luxemburg France Japan UK Australia Germany France Hungary Ireland Australia Ireland South Korea Ireland Iceland Belgium New Zealand Canada France Spain Belgium Luxemburg Portugal Austria Austria Italy New Zealand Spain USA Poland Portugal Canada Spain Czech Republic Slovakia Portugal Hungary Greece Switzerland Poland Hungary Slovakia Slovakia Czech Republic Italy Italy Poland Greece Greece Sources: Akamai; Eurostat; Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; OECD; UN; MagnaGlobal; BCG analysis. Note: The index is scaled so that the geometric mean equals 100. Connected Poland 17

20 Exhibit 9. Percentage of enterprises with Internet access of at least 256 kbps Iceland South Korea Australia Switzerland Canada Finland Spain France Belgium New Zealand Norway Sweden Germany Luxemburg UK Netherlands Portugal Greece Italy Denmark Ireland Slovakia Czech Republic Austria Japan Hungary Poland Ø % Source: Eurostat. Note: Concerns enterprises employing at least 10 people. Infrastructure developments have also been promoted by telecom companies. Under an agreement with the Electronic Communications Authority, Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. has invested in the development of broadband Internet access and provides free broadband access in all public libraries across Poland. Mobile operators have extended mobile broadband networks and experimented with LTE data transmission standards (offering significant improvements over 3G networks). FTTH/B technologies should also help to close the infrastructure gap. Specific business models would have to be devised to stimulate private investment with a long return on investment (10 years or longer). If all of these undertakings are fulfilled, broadband Internet access should improve significantly within the next few years. However, Poland still has a long way to go before it successfully remedies delays, instead of setting new trends as South Korea does. There is an example to follow in the case of South Korea, whose government focused in the late 1990s on developing broadband infrastructure and stimulating both expenditure and engagement by businesses and consumers. Although South Korea is not a leader in terms of online expenditure and engagement, its dynamic development of the ICT sector by eliminating infrastructure obstacles should be an inspiration to Poland. 18 The Boston Consulting Group

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