Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/20/2014 -- The Middle East is a tech-savvy region ripe for embracing new digital media developments
The Middle Eastern society as a whole;
is an enthusiastic adopter of technology, digital media, online entertainment and social media. Jordan in particular has emerged as a regional tech start-up hub due to an ICT focused education system, low start up costs and business-friendly government. Its growing reputation is increasingly attracting international capital eager to tap into the region's underserved growing online market.
Turkey also possesses a significant telecommunications market region due to its large population, which is characterised as young, increasingly urbanised and technically literate. Its developing economy has been shaped by the EU accession process.
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Many countries now recognise the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development. Kuwait, for example, has taken steps to develop a digital economy with the development of national level policies for e-health and e-government as well as a number of services now available online. Saudi Arabia received praise in 2013 from the World Bank which acknowledged the kingdom's efforts in implementing business reforms such as electronic filing and new payment systems.
Despite ongoing conflict in Syria;
e-government services are available, with a national e-government policy in place to guide developments. To support e-health development, public funding has been made available for ICT equipment, software, pilot projects, skills training and scholarships. E-health initiatives in Syria also extend to the mobile sector (m-health), with m-health initiatives undertaken.
Despite the growing Internet user base across the Middle East;
the lack of adequate delivery infrastructure has been cited as an impediment to digital media development, although this is improving.
Internet usage in Iran, for example, is growing due to improved accessibility brought about by competition and government initiatives. Broadband penetration in Iran is improving given the growing number of competing ISPs, made possible through a licensing scheme. Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Iran has taken steps to develop a digital economy. However this has been contradicted by Iran's systematic and ongoing efforts to censor the Internet, with an initiative underway to deploy a "National Internet".
Recognising the productivity benefits of fast broadband access, governments in the Middle East have endeavoured to either create regulatory conditions conducive to broadband investment or directly engaged in deploying national broadband networks.
Broadband in Oman for example represents the majority of the countries Internet connections and competition is predominantly infrastructure based.
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