UN Broadband Penetration Report : Internet in India Sucks
We can’t say we’re surprised to hear that according to a report by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, India has fallen in ranking in broadband penetration. The nation has spiraled down to 131 in 2014 from 125 in 2013. A total of 189 countries were part of the survey conducted by the UN.
There has been a 2.3 percent fall from a 15.3% in 2013 to a 13% in 2014 in broadband penetration in India. Further, the UN Broadband Commission report also pointed out that 57% of the world’s population stays out of the realm of internet, depriving themselves of umpteen opportunities of financial and intellectual development that the virtual world has to offer. International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao commented on the topic and said,
“Our important challenge now is to find ways of getting the four billion people online who still lack the benefits of Internet connectivity, and this will be a primary focus of the Broadband Commission going forward.”
A national broadband policy was adopted in India as late as 2011, alongside Middle Eastern countries like Iran and Lebanon. When it comes to the internet, India has some more interesting stats to offer. The UN survey provides a tabular representation of fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 capita. The country leading this table is Monaco at a 46.8, closely followed by Switzerland at a 46. India finds itself at a puny 1.2 in this table. Closer home, countries like Thailand and Singapore are way above at 8.2 and 27.8 respectively.
The numbers are slightly better for the country in terms of fixed broadband for mobile phones per capita 100. India finds itself located at a 5.5. But before you give yourself a pat on the back for this, remember that Bangladesh is at a 6.4, and the country at the top is China with a 322.2. Looks like it’s only the size of the population where we can give China competition at the number game.
Lastly there is a table which shows the number of households with internet connections. India is at an 18%, once again behind unexpected countries like Yemen, Thailand and Bhutan! The country at the top of this table is Iceland with a 98.2%. Now that is something to think about.
According to the survey, Europe is home to all the top ten cities with the maximum number of internet users. The other end of the spectrum is filled by sub-Saharan African countries which has the least percentage of internet usage and connectivity. For a more detailed approach, find the entire report here.
Evidently, India continues to lag behind in the technology race. Despite all the developments in the tech world, the amount of capital being invested in the country and the rampant presence of technology in our lives, the figures on paper are discouraging. One can only hope for a better progress rate by the next UN survey.