Wired India: 500 million+ internet users and counting…

India to cross 500 million internet users

Cashing in on the digital explosion, the number of internet users in India is likely to cross 500 million this year. “India has grown to around 400 million internet users. If we take TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) numbers, it is somewhere close to 332 million,” Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi on May 4.

“Service providers are telling me the up-to-date figure would be 402 million. We were to have 500 million users by 2017; I feel it will happen this year itself,” said Mr Prasad at the launch of ‘Digital Desh Drive”, a pioneering journey that seeks to get every local business online in India by 2020.

Digital Revolution

India has now around one billion mobile subscribers, Mr Prasad said. The minister underlined that people in India, especially at the grassroot level, are using technology to transform their lives. “After being IT and communications minister, I’m indeed experiencing a different India. India is sitting on the cusp of a big digital revolution. Indians first observe technology, adopt technology and then they start enjoying it and become empowered in the process”, Mr Prasad said.

Alluding to the ‘Digital Desh’ drive, the minister stressed that it had incorporated the insights of small Indian businesses that are using the internet to transform their businesses. The government has also decided to set up a centralised monitoring system (CMS) to automate the process of lawful interception and monitoring of phones and the internet.

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