You may have heard – the reach of Internet in India is increasing rapidly. VoIP has came in, 3G & IPtv is at the doorstep, bandwidth prices are falling down, BSNL’s netPC launched, but I still do not see a great future. I do not see awareness of .in domains, for promoting Hindi, I do not see true Indian web-hosting companies, I do not see IT professionals solving India’s a few fundamental problems. We have built a good economy by serving west IT companies. The time is now to focus inside!
Lets see where do we stand in the massive Web of Internet. There are total 3,109,827,840 IPv4 addresses issued worldwide. India owns merely 0.6% (19,267,224) of them. We hold world’s 17.6% population and only 0.6% of internet is hosted/used inside India! On the other side, with 19% of world’s population China has 7.2% of IPv4 addresses becoming the third after USA (48%), UK (8%).
You may argue that I should have measured by # of Internet users, but there are not exact figures to support it. Some agencies say 40M Indians have touched Internet while other say 80M. Whatever, I feel # of IP addresses gives pretty accurate measure of a country’s Web presence (web-servers hosted) as well as usage (ISPs).
India comes at 15th in owning total 0.51% of all
There is big gap between no of people who use internet vs no of people who know there is a Internet. Obviously, education is a must to get into this. But not everyone can get English education. The Internet has accepted, they cannot bring the whole world in one language, then why do we want to push English? I am sure there are 100 times more pages in Chinese than a total of Hindi/Marathi/Punjabi/Gujarati/Tamil/etc in Google index.
Apart from cheaper equipment and tariff, the other factor behind mobile revolution in India is the support for local languages (Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, etc;) in handsets. We need the same for Internet. Not everyone can speak and understand English. Even ICANN has accepted this after a long time. Why IRCTC is not available in Hindi? Why Indian social networks like Bharatstudent.com, Bigadda.com, Hi5.com are not available in regional languages. There Wikipedia, BBC, Facebook & Orkut are available in Indian regional languages and gaining popularity. Why not Linux community provides free OS in Hindi? Besides, there is a Hindi keyboard layout, tools available for easy typing in Hindi/Gujarati/Tamil. And thanks to Google for Transliteration.
I am waiting for a day when our government shall issue a law/guidelines for website owners for enabling Internet for disabled people. I am waiting for a day when an Indian web-hosting giant opens up a data center in US/UK (for cost cutting bcoz their cooler climate and cheaper bandwidth) instead of collaborating with existing foreign providers. Today preliminary knowledge is almost free over Internet. I am waiting for a day when every member of our society has access to such information free and a child does not necessarily need to buy a book. I am waiting for a day when free internet kiosks will be available roadside and we can access Wikipedia, maps/routes and information will be a hand apart for the poorest guy in my country.
* Country wise IP count as of 2009-12-19
* ICANN Wiki and Country-wise Total Domains Data as of 2009-12-14
* Second source for IP stats http://www.ip2location.com/ip2location-internet-ip-address-2010-report.aspx . Here too India is at 19th, and China at 3rd.
- Brand Ka Band Bajao
- ProxySwitcher – My First Firefox Extension