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Internet users in India expected to cross 500 mn by June 2018: IAMAI

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The number of internet users in the country is expected to reach 500 million by June 2018, a joint survey by IMAI-Kantar IMRB showed. India was estimated to have 481 million internet users in December 2017, a growth of 11.34 per cent over December 2016 figures. According to the report, as on December 2017, the overall internet penetration is 35 per cent of total population. “The number of internet users is expected to reach 500 million by June 2018,” stated the report ‘Internet in India 2017’ released after a joint survey conducted in 170 cities and 750 villages by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar IMRB.

There were 362.87 million broadband subscribers in the country at the end of December 2017, as per recent data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). “TRAI gives number of connections but one person may have multiple connection or one connection may be used by many. This survey was conducted at individual level. If two member of a family having internet or broadband connection say they use internet we count them as two,” an IAMAI spokesperson said.

The survey was conducted between June to August 2017, covering 60,000 individuals in urban India across 170 cities and 15,000 individuals across 750 villages in rural area, the spokesperson said. According to the findings of the report, urban India witnessed a growth of 9.66 per cent from December 2016 and is presently estimated to have around 295 million internet users as on December 2017.

On the other hand, rural India witnessed a growth of 14.11 per cent from December 2016 and is presently estimated to have around 186 million internet users as on December 2017, the report said. As per the survey, 86 per cent internet users in urban India access it for online communication, 85 per cent for entertainment, 70 per cent for social networking, 44 per cent online finance and transactions and 35 per cent for online services.

Whereas, in rural India, as per the survey, entertainment is top content for 58 per cent internet users followed by online communication for 56 per cent, social networking 49 per cent, online services 35 per cent and online finance and transaction 16 per cent. In terms of other parameters of demography, according to the report, students and youngsters accounting for around 60 per cent of all internet users in India, followed by young men, non-working women, older men, working women and illiterate below age of 18 years.

“Among the rural internet users, the ratio between male to female internet users is 64:36. The proportion of internet users by gender in rural India has seen much change over last year with internet users among rural females growing steadily. The increasing gender parity in internet usage is a welcome development,” the report said. The report also finds that an estimated 182.9 million or 62 per cent access internet daily, as compared to only 98 million users or 53 per cent, in rural India. Almost double the proportion of rural users access internet less than once a month in rural India as compared to urban India.

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