Is the web catching up in rural India?

Read in few papers today that the user base of Rural web users in India will grow by 30% in 2010 (as compared to 2008). This study was conducted jointly by IAMAI & IMRB (the site hasn’t been updated forever).

The report says the number of active internet users in Rural India is set to increase by 30% since 2008 i.e. from 3.3 million in 2008 it will swell up to 5.4 million in 2010. The title of the press release says “Only 5.4 million internet users in rural india by 2010 and the body uses the word “swell“. So it is not clear if the study infers the growth is impressive or not. I think we should welcome a user base of 5.4 million from rural India to the information highway.

Today’s press release from TRAI says,

Total Broadband subscriber base has increased from 9.45 million in June-2010 to 9.77 million in July-2010, there by showing a growth of 3.39%.

While the press release has given a detailed breakup of the growth of wireless/mobile users, there is just one line about broadband user base (> 256k). It high time TRAI gives a lot more detailed demography information about broadband user base in India.

It is interesting to note the usage pattern on the web from rural India,

  1. Email
  2. Music/Video
  3. Education Information Search (clearly shows rural India is interested in Education)
  4. General Information search (Google?)
  5. Chat
  6. Online News (language content consumption should increase)
  7. Online travel booking
  8. Latest farming techniques

Also see Rural India’s 84% population unaware of Internet: report

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