Despite the fact that the number of internet users have increased manifold in India over the last one decade, as of 2014, nearly one billion people in India are yet to connect to the internet, according to a World Bank report.
The World Bank estimates that India could see a major push in growth, job creation and general improvements in public services, if there is wider adoption of the internet.
In addition, though the number of internet users worldwide has more than tripled since 2005, four billion people still lack access to the internet.
As per a report from IAMAI, titled Mobile Internet In India 2016, the country is estimated to have 371 million mobile internet users by June 2016. Nearly 71 per cent of the estimated 371 million mobile internet users in India will belong to Urban area, however, the rural area still holds an enormous potential to drive the future growth of mobile internet in India.
The UN Broadband Commission in an earlier report, the State of Broadband, revealed that 57 per cent of the world’s people remain offline and unable to take advantage of the enormous economic and social benefits the Internet can offer.
Not surprisingly, over 80 percent of people in fully developed countries currently have connections, but that number plummets to 6.7 percent in the poorest nations; gender inequality only makes it worse.
Digital technologies promote inclusion, efficiency, and innovation.
More than forty percent of adults in East Africa pay their utility bills using a mobile phone. India has provided unique digital identification to nearly one billion people in five years, and reduced corruption. In public health services, simple SMS messages have proven effective in reminding people living with HIV to take their lifesaving drugs.
Though India is the country with the greatest percentage of its population being unconnected to the internet, the World Bank report states that it still has the third largest amount of connected users in the world. It’s beaten only by China and the US, for now.
To deliver fully on the development promise of a new digital age, the World Bank suggests two main actions: closing the digital divide by making the internet universal, affordable, open, and safe; and strengthening regulations that ensure competition among business.