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Slow net gains

As more Indians get connected and access a host of news and social networking sites, India’s Internet traffic is showing a marked increase. According to Akamai Technology’s Quarterly State of the Internet Report for the third quarter of 2008, India had 2.6 million Internet protocol (IP) addresses—up 23 per cent over the second quarter this year. Most Indians continued to use the internet for e-mail and social networking.

Print Edition: December 28, 2008

As more Indians get connected and access a host of news and social networking sites, India’s Internet traffic is showing a marked increase. According to Akamai Technology’s Quarterly State of the Internet Report for the third quarter of 2008, India had 2.6 million Internet protocol (IP) addresses—up 23 per cent over the second quarter this year. Most Indians continued to use the internet for e-mail and social networking.

However, despite India’s seemingly impressive growth, it lags well behind leaders like the US and China, with 109 and 38 million IP addresses, respectively. The much-talked of digital divide is also evident, with India ranking a lowly 153 in the number of IP addresses per capita, with around 2.3 IP addresses per capita, compared to 30 for China and 360 in the case of the US.

Another worrying fact is that despite the hype over broadband, Indians for the most part were stuck with slow-speed Internet access. According to the report, only 5 per cent of browsers surveyed had connection speed of 2 mpbs or more, compared to 64 per cent for the US. However, there was progress on this front, with the number of connections at 256 kpbs pegged at 74 per cent.

—Rahul Sachitanand

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