Why in news?
- Internet users in rural areas surpassed those in urban areas for the first time, according to the ‘Digital in India’ report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
- Another highlight from the report is that the increase in female internet users (26 million) was more than that of male internet users.
- IAMAI’s latest report states that as of November 2019, there were 227 million active internet users in rural areas out of a total of 504 in India.
- This makes India the second-largest internet user market behind China.
- The potential of adding new users in the hinterland still remains ‘immense’ in the coming few years, according to the report.
What is the reason behind this growth in internet users?
- Accessibility to affordable devices and cheap data plans were a major boost behind the growth of India’s internet users.
- The preferred device for accessing the internet was mobile in both urban and rural areas.
- Hindi users have gone up sizeably for us, a lot of content consumption is happening over Instagram as compared to Facebook.
- There is a surge in live video as well.
What about India’s position of Internet users in the world?
India has 40% internet usage, lagging behind US and China in terms of Internet Penetration (which is 88% for the US and 61% for China).