Internet userbase in Rural India on the rise

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.


  1. Livemint also has carried an article about this today –

  2. I read another article which says India is on 7th position on internet population list. There are 32.1m internet users in India.
    check our this link and decide who is right.

  3. Hi,

    This is a very useful article.

    The following is in response to Harpreet’s comment: the 32.1 million internet users is in totality of people in India and the 3.3 million users mentioned in the article is only about rural internet users in India.
    This is just for the benefit of the readers.


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