How many more surveys can we have and how many different conclusions can we draw about the Internet penetration in India?
Every month there is a new survey that comes out with statistics that are either surprising or outright ridiculous. Today Times of India reports based on a survey conducted by IMRB International – The I-Cube 2007 – that small towns are driving the boom in India.
Internet usage in India has grown more than 11 times over the last seven years. The boom is being driven not by metros, but by smaller and non-metro towns, where the number of users has risen by a whopping 69 times and 33 times respectively since 2000.
Sure, it may be true to a certain extent, but can we take ’69 times’ by its face value? In year 1998-1999, VSNL was the lone ISP in India and only in 2000-01, Internet services were privatized. Not many people in India had internet back then.
Other than in metros, Internet access was largely non existent in smaller Indian towns. So if you project the growth in number in multiples, it gives a completely wrong picture.
Even today, the penetration of Internet in India is less than 4% and if you consider non-metros the percentage should be even lower.
Can we call this an Internet Boom?