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Indian Internet subscribers increase 69 times: Can we call it an Internet Boom?

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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?

  1. Kaushik Banerjee says

    yes! off course its a boom.

  2. Indian Blogger says

    The statement might be true. The internet penetration and growth is happening faster at the non metros. The government has declared the year 2007 as the year of broad band, and wants to ensure that Wi-Fi (if not Wimax) reaches the hearts of India. WiMAX is obviously a last mile technology, i.e. one would not have to lay cables and wires to reach the rural India. Instead, wireless mode will be faster and cheaper if WiMAX mode is followed.. On the other hand, the non metro residents see internet as a source of information rather than for chatting or emailing purpose. If you track Google and Yahoo's India plans, you will notice that they are making more localized and customized product. Efforts are being done to get stuff in Hindi etc. Why? Coz that is where the growth is happening. In the cities, the internet growth will not happen through computers, but will be witnessed by individuals surfing the web from their mobile phones.

  3. Indian Blogger says

    The statement might be true. The internet penetration and growth is happening faster at the non metros. The government has declared the year 2007 as the year of broad band, and wants to ensure that Wi-Fi (if not Wimax) reaches the hearts of India. WiMAX is obviously a last mile technology, i.e. one would not have to lay cables and wires to reach the rural India. Instead, wireless mode will be faster and cheaper if WiMAX mode is followed.. On the other hand, the non metro residents see internet as a source of information rather than for chatting or emailing purpose. If you track Google and Yahoo's India plans, you will notice that they are making more localized and customized product. Efforts are being done to get stuff in Hindi etc. Why? Coz that is where the growth is happening.   In the cities, the internet growth will not happen through computers, but will be witnessed by individuals surfing the web from their mobile phones.

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