GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 3290
ANSWERED ON AUGUST 8, 2014
Internet Penetration in the Country
3290. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state;
(a) the internet user base in the country as on 30th June, 2014;
(b) whether Government is aware that internet penetration and growth in the country lags behind Asian peers; and
(c) if so, the steps proposed to be taken by Government to improve internet penetration and make India one of the world's largest internet user bases?
THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY &
LAW AND JUSTICE
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)
(a): Sir, as per the reports received from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the number of Internet subscribers in the country is 251.59 million, as on 31st March, 2014.
(b): The statistics on 'percentage of individuals using the internet' in respect of some Asian countries for the year 2013, as available on the website of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, is enclosed as Annexure.
Details of the statistics relating to 'percentage of individuals using the internet' available on ITU website for various countries is available at the ITU Website: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx
(c): New Telecom Policy 2012 envisages providing affordable and reliable broadband on demand by the year 2015 and to achieve 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and making available higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps on demand.
Further, Government has approved the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) scheme. NOFN, being funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), is planned to connect all the Gram Panchayats (approximately 2,50,000) in the country through optical fibre utilizing existing fibers of Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) viz. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Railtel and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) by laying incremental fiber wherever necessary to bridge the connectivity gap between Gram Panchayats and Blocks, for providing broadband connectivity.
Non-discriminatory access to the network will be provided to all categories of service providers including internet service providers.
Name of the Country
Percentage of individuals using the Internet in the year 2013