It is encouraging to learn from a research carried out by IMRB/I-Cube that the userbase in Rural India is increasing. The report doesn’t talk about how the rural India connects to the net but my guess is most of them in rural India access the internet using BSNL broadband. I recall reading a while ago about BSNL coming up with a special broadband pricing plan for their rural users. I can’t find that article but this one talks about BSNL’s aggressive broadband plans for rural India.
Few highlights from the IMRB/I-Cube report (as of March 2008),
- Rural population: 568m
- Rural Literate Population: 368m
- Rural English-Speaking Population: 63m
- Rural Computer Literates: 15.1m
- Rural Claimed Internet Users: 5.5m
- Active internet users: 3.3m
- Advertisers would be keen to reach this rural internet user base as their buying power could be reasonably high.
Glad to see the report has clearly seen something which very few seem to understand – there is a HUGE population of non-English speaking literate in India (368m minus 63m). Yes, not all of them have internet access but clearly there is a need (not “luxury”) for local language content on the net and the mobile.