According to a study by the Internet and Mobile Association, rural Internet users are growing at a faster rate than urban Internet users and are expected to overtake metropolitan Internet users in the near future. COVID-19 has increased the demand for consistent broadband services in all of our daily tasks, including learning, training, finding news and content, and shopping. The digitization of our lives has led to an exponential increase in data usage and a multiple increase in demand for fixed and portable broadband. When we look at COVID-19 related habits among our teens, we believe that much of this technology activity will remain.
Broadband is a necessary part of our economic growth and progress in sociological, economic and business districts. It has the ability to impact and affect the lives of all individuals by increasing access to high quality resources (e.g. national health care, youth development and banking services) and providing employment opportunities. Rural India has made significant progress on the internet over the past three years, mainly due to the use of smartphones and affordable data prices. The anchors to continue and increase this growth agenda in the next rounds will be the use of broadband in rural areas and the massive implementation of fixed broadband.
Broadband in rural India
The internet penetration rate in rural India has increased from 4% in 2007 to around 45% in 2021. Despite the fact that these data seem low, they indicate that almost 50% of the population of 1.37 billion people had Internet access that year. . This also ranked the country second on the list in terms of internet users. Due to lower cost data plans and mobile devices, rural areas of India will drive the future growth of mobile internet. Despite the fact that broadband penetration in urban areas is far more than double that of rural areas, rural broadband users are growing at a faster rate year on year. Vernacular, speech and video are likely to be game changers in the online realm over the next few years.
According to the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), based on faster expansion in rural areas, the number of active internet users in India is expected to nearly multiply to 900 million by 2025 from 622. million last year. At this time, rural India may have a larger percentage of internet users than urban areas. According to the report, nine out of ten AIUs use the Internet daily. Each day, students spend approximately 107 minutes (1.8 hours) accessing the Internet. According to the survey, active members in urban India spend 17% more time than active members in rural India, despite the fact that the number of daily users in urban India is slightly higher than in rural India.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a 10% increase in broadband Internet use leads to a 1.5% increase in GDP. Consistent, high-speed broadband is critical to increasing adoption of current advancements such as cloud technology, Internet of Things (IoT), and other similar technologies. India’s cloud market has grown steadily from US$2.5 billion in 2018 to US$4.5 billion in 2020, with growth expected to reach US$7 billion by 2023. According to Statista , the Internet audience is expected to reach 1,134.04 million users by 2025, with the total number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed worldwide reaching 30.9 billion units. With the IoT being used by a wide range of businesses, consumer and industrial IoT is expected to continue to grow.
Broadband connectivity is on a growth trajectory in rural India
Access to reliable and high broadband accessibility; Internet access not only to the World Wide Web, but also to inexpensive devices such as laptops and cell phones; and ease of use are integral to harnessing the full power of broadband. Although India has made significant progress in terms of broadband connections over the years, there are still many potentials for speed expansion to support digital innovation, social development and economic growth.
According to the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), significant improvements in internet speeds in the country are possible. Aiming for a minimum broadband speed of 512 Kbps to 3 Mbps is a critical first step. Broadband connectivity in rural areas and the widespread adoption of broadband connections will be the anchors for this growth trajectory to continue and accelerate in the years to come.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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