Internet usage in small towns has increased over the past three years, as per a release from the IAMAI-IMRB I-Cube report: towns with a population of less than 0.5 million account for 29 percent of India’s “ever” Internet users. The top 8 metro cities account for just 38 percent of “ever” Internet users, where they once accounted for 77 percent in 2000.
Readers should bear in mind that this distribution is an estimate based on “ever” Internet users (anyone who’s ever used the Internet) – a figure I do not consider relevant. However, the change in distribution of users serves as an indicator that more and more people in smaller towns are using the Internet. What we haven’t yet received from the report, since it’s being released on a piece-meal basis, is the qualitative aspect – the frequency of use, as well as the quality of the connectivity. Even though the Internet is becoming a necessity for many of us, I don’t users in this country are satisfied with the quality of access. There just isn’t enough competition in the broadband space.