Wednesday, December 5, 2007

India's internet user base @ 46 mn

For the first time ever, the internet user base in India grew by over 40 per cent to touch 46 million in September 2007 from 32.2 million in the corresponding month last year.

During the month, the number of active internet users reached 32 million, according the Internet in India Report 2007, published jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International.

"Although a growth of 40 per cent year-on-year makes us happy -- given that for the last couple of years the rate of growth was 30-35 per cent -- the growth rate is not very satisfactory relative to what can be achieved and what needs to be achieved," Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, said.

The report notes that growth of internet users is primarily driven by the number of people, who have the know-how, use a computer unaided has grown to 65 million from 15.8 million in 2000. Besides, 70 per cent computer literates have used the internet some time or the other in their lives.

"In order to make growth sustainable, broadband, which would drive more applications, functions and businesses, and, therefore, more users, really needs to take off. If broadband penetration targets are not met in the Year of the Broadband, there is a possibility of missing out on creating a virtuous cycle of better connectivity, content and more users," Ray said.

Mohan Krishnan, senior vice-president, IMRB said, "The demand for the internet continues to be primarily driven by urban areas."

Therefore, while the government was justifiably drawing up plans to take the internet to rural areas, it is also necessary that the urban digital divide should be bridged with appropriate policy measures."

http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/dec/05net.htm

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