Cyprus jumped 15 places in digital connectivity levels in two years, which demonstrates the country’s progress in electronic communication services, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday.

Receiving the annual report for 2021 of the commissioner for electronic communications George Michaelides, Anasiasiades said he is “very pleased” to see the progress recorded which is being noted by international organisations.

Noting that “hybrid warfare is now considered perhaps one of the most important,” the president said it is crucial “to move forward with cybersecurity issues in this way, with the partnerships that are being formed”.

Delivering the report, Michaelides said that “over the last two years we have developed a framework for the deployment of high-speed networks that gives predictability and certainty for investors to invest in high-speed networks. We have also recently taken steps to expedite these investments”.

He also expressed satisfaction on the issue of connectivity, the indicator measuring the level at which each country is that shows Cyprus is now in 12th position, up from 27th position in in 2019.

The commissioner added that Cyprus is progressing at a very fast pace, citing 5G as an example and noting that double data usage has also been developed.

On the issue of cybersecurity, Michaelides said the island is moving forward and building structures, making agreements with other countries, stressing that “the most important thing is that we have built the national coordination centre following a European directive which is responsible for distributing funds in the Cypriot market either to academics or to businesses, to anyone involved in cybersecurity, so that we build a community” in this area.

He also said that work is moving forward on the creation of a cybersecurity services and products accreditation centre, which will help make Cyprus a technology hub.

Despite the progress, Eurostat data showed in August that the island has the second lowest coverage of very high-capacity fixed connections (VHCN) in the EU, after Greece. Fast internet connectivity in Cyprus stood at 41 per cent in 2021, compared with an average of 70 per cent in the EU.