Penetration of Internet In rural India has seen a significant growth from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2012 in terms of claimed Internet users and 2.13 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent in 2012 in the case of active internet users according to a recent I-Cube report on Internet in Rural India by Internet and Mobile association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB.
Report further elaborates that claimed Internet users (users who have used internet at least once in their lifetime) in rural India which currently counts to 38 million will reach 45 million by December 2012. Currently 31 million are active users (who have accessed the internet in the last one month) out of these claimed 38 million users.
In an official statement, Dr. Subho Ray, President of IAMAI commented, “This is just the tip of the iceberg, in the next two years, a combination of affordable smart phones, optic fiber backbone and local language content is likely to change the beat all projections of internet growth in rural areas.”
Report also tracks the increasing number of Mobile Internet users in India which has grown 7.2 times from 0.5 million in 2010 to 3.6 million by June 2012, approving the fact that mobile phones are fast emerging as an important point of Internet access in rural India. A huge 12 percent of the internet users accessed internet on their mobile phones in contrast to 57.7 percent of the internet users which accessed internet through common user points such as Community Service Centers (CSC) and Cyber Cafes. Entertainment has become one of the key factors which is driving rural India towards more Internet usage as 75 percent of rural users use internet for entertainment while 56 percent use it for communication.
According to a recent report by DNAINDIA, A study by Google India has revealed that India ranks second after US in terms of search queries related to education on Google search which can be verified in the IAMAI report according to which 81 percent of claimed internet users seek information pertaining to school / university and exam centers.