1.1b People & Just 81m Internet Users in India – Pitiful

Why is Internet penetration in India so low?

With 81 million Internet users, India accounts for a mere 6% of the 1.348 billion netizens in the world.

There were only 13.5 million Internet subscribers in India in 2007 (1.15 per 100 inhabitants), according to the Internet Governance Forum. This means each Internet connection is shared by six users.

India’s low Internet usage suggests that the net has still not become the pervasive tool it has in countries like the U.S.

Internet Users in India

What’s holding up Internet penetration/usage in India?

* Is pricing the major culprit?

* Are Indian ISPs ripping off customers?

* Are cybercafes still very popular (we remember reading that many have shut down)?

* Is the Indian government doing anything at all to boost Internet usage?

U.S. Scenario
In the U.S., you can get unlimited dial-up for about $15/month from companies like NetZero. You can get the faster DSL from Verizon for $20. Of course, cable (Comcast) or fibre optic (Verizon) Internet access is faster but also more expensive. They cost around $33 per month under a bundle plan.

The Internet access picture in India is bleaker on the broadband front.

According to the Internet Governance Forum, India has just 3 million broadband subscribers, or 0.27 per 100 inhabitants.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India puts broadband subscribers in India at 5.05 million (end of October 2008). But the TRAI considers speeds greater than equal to 256Kbps as broadband. At 256Kbps, can you stream a movie or TV show without buffering?

Plus we understand Indian ISPs impose a big cap on usage, which adds to the cost for consumers.

Sitting in the U.S. it’s a little difficult to get the whole picture, but what we see suggests that Indian consumers are getting a raw deal from their Internet Service Providers.

All this means a lot of Internet/broadband usage in India must be happening at the workplace.

5 Responses to "1.1b People & Just 81m Internet Users in India – Pitiful"

  1. Þórarinsdóttir   December 2, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Are people still using dialup? In our town we get a 768 Kbps DSL connection for 15$.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Broadband is still not available in many rural areas of U.S.

    2. We think roughly about 15% of U.S. Internet users are using dial-up.

  2. terraferrous   December 2, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    India is seeing the fastest growth amongst all countries listed here (25-30%). It will not be long before India has a higher number than others…

    Is the number low?
    No. 30% live in urban areas, out of which, a healthy 25% already seems to be using internet…that is really encouraging!

    Airtel, Sify, Hathway, BSNL are fiercely competing amongst themselves to reach urban homes with broadband connections.

    The title of the blog should have been “81 mn internet users in India, WOW!!!”

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write: It will not be long before India has a higher number than others…

    There’s no law against dreaming.

    2. You write: India is seeing the fastest growth amongst all countries listed here

    Absolute baloney.

    When the base is so frigging low, all growth seems high.

    3. Among the ISPs you provide above, we checked the Sify & BSNL sites for home service.

    Speeds are still pathetic. 256Kbps during the day (for Sify) is hardly anything to crow about. As for business service, the rates (BSNL) are just ridiculous.

    4. You write: The title of the blog should have been “81 mn internet users in India, WOW!!!”

    For 7% penetration, you need an expletive not a Wow.

  3. SRINIVAS   December 3, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Does not really matter …there are other pressing issues to be dealt with in the society

    IT as such can be a great enabler in helping and substaining growth

    … Internet is required mainly by corporates / Business/ Educational Institutes/ Govt Bodies and other social institutions in rural areas which allows the farmer to access the latest info about weather / market price etc … There would be one Computer for the entire village with Internet connection ..

    As such at a individual level ..its not required at this stage …so connections will remain low and that’s perfectly Ok … People should get their priorities right …

    CAP on download is a good thing as it restricts your usage and saves a lot of time ..unlimited access is bad.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: unlimited access is bad .

    God forbid that nuts like you should ever come to power.

    Given the nonsense you occasionally write, perhaps you should not have unlimited access to a keyboard. 😉

  4. Þórarinsdóttir   December 3, 2008 at 8:10 am

    you say As such at a individual level ..its not required at this stage..
    why not? It provides news, entertainment from all over the world.. it is a fantastic medium which is not just restricted to enablin growth ..

    I do agree that a CAP on download should be enforced on abusers(*wing* Asha *wink*) so that the other legitimate users don’t suffer – till the system is stabilized.

  5. SRINIVAS   December 4, 2008 at 1:40 am

    SI & Þórarinsdóttir …

    Not required at a Individual level …meant … not required by all in India ..when compared with US in this case (low no of connections was the context) ….since the society is diff …there are other things to be taken care off … which need two things

    Get your priorities right
    Save and use your money and time properly … this is where cap on Download is important ..

    Umlimited access is available in India ..for a price of course …but there are other things to do in life apart from the net …hence some cap restricts all ..

    Abusers are there to some extent in all of us ..this cap keeps it in control ..

    SI : Given the nonsense you occasionally write …

    Thanks for the word “Occasionally”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login