Till very recently internet penetration in rural India was said to be very low. But a new report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India ((IAMAI) and the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) proved that the new technology is getting popularized not only in urban areas but also in rural areas of the country.
According to the I-Cube report titled "Internet in Rural India" jointly published by IAMAI and IMRB, the country currently has 38 million internet users from the rural community. The report also made the observation that the number of internet users of rural India who have accessed the internet at least once in life will touch 45 million by the end of this year.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next two years, a combination of affordable smart phones, optic fiber backbone and local language content is likely to beat projections of internet growth in rural areas,” said Subho Ray, president of IAMAI.
The report stated that the claimed users of rural India has showed a growth rate of 73 percent from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2012. The claimed internet users are those who have accessed the internet at least once in their lifetime. Around 75 percent use the internet for entertainment in rural areas whereas 56 percent use it for communication purposes.
The major sources to get access to the internet in rural areas are the community service centers and the cyber cafes. The report pointed out that 57.7 percent of the internet users accessed the internet through these public services and 12 percent gained accessed via mobile phones.
“About 57.7 percent of the internet users accessed internet through this common user points. A significant 12 percent of the internet users access internet on their mobile phones,” the report said.
The I-Cube report released on Thursday will give a head-start about the upcoming government project which aims to give WIFI connectivity to 250,000 villages by November 2013.