Internet users in rural India to reach 45 million by 2012: report

Published Date
31 - Aug - 2012
| Last Updated
31 - Aug - 2012
Internet users in rural India to reach 45 million by 2012: report

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau) in their I-Cube report have projected a significant surge in the number of the Internet users in the country by the end of 2012. The report estimates the number of users in rural India who accessed the Internet at least once in their lifetime to grow to 45 million by 2012-end.

The claimed Internet users are those who have accessed the Internet at least once in their lifetime. The IAMAI report says claimed Internet users in rural India has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 73 percent, up from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2012. On the other hand, the penetration of the active Internet users has grown from 2.13 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent in 2012.

The report says the country's rural community has 38 million “claimed Internet” users, while 31 million out of them are active users. “This is just the tip of the iceberg, in the next two years, a combination of affordable smart phones, optic fibre backbone and local language content is likely to change the beat all projections of internet growth in rural areas,” says Dr. Subho Ray, President of IAMAI.

The I-Cube report further points out that mobile phones have emerged as an important point of Internet access in the rural parts of the country. As of June 2012, there were 3.6 million mobile Internet users in India, up from 0.5 million in 2010, the report adds. The traditional community service centres and cyber cafes have continued to be the major point of Internet access for rural users.

“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,” reveals the report.

Moreover, education and entertainment have also emerged as main drivers for the growth of the Internet usage in rural India. The report says about 75 percent rural users access the web for entertainment, while 81 percent of them used the Internet to seek information regarding schools, university and exam centres.

Check out the full I-Cube report here.

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