Measuring the developed status of a country in the 21st century requires you to look at the extent and spread of digitization. India, which still carries the tag of a developing country, has announced its Digital India campaign with the aim of moving ahead with development and actually there are a number of events and reports that point to the adoption and adaption to total digitization.
World Bank Event – The World Bank organized an event which was titled ‘Digital India: Transforming India into a digitally empowered nation’. At this event, the Chairman of TRAI, Mr. Ram Sewak Sharma, spoke candidly about the Prime Minister Modi’s program, Digital India, wherein he discussed, the need for digital infrastructure. It is a requirement of every citizen and the government has laid the onus of development of broadband players, who are not only enhancing services in the urban sector but are increasing their reach in the rural areas. During his address Mr. Sharma also discussed the need for service and governance on demand. According to him, “Together the two will lead India to be digitally empowered”.
State of the Internet Q1 2017 – The quarterly Connectivity Report released by Akamai still puts the average connectivity speed in India at 6.5 Mbps. Contrast that to the average connectivity speed of 184.5 Mbps in Singapore and you know that India is truly lacking. Fiber Internet availability in certain sectors allows for 100 Mbps speeds, but the need is to ensure fastest broadband connectivity across the remotest corners of the country. The problem when compared to Singapore is that India is a vast country, different geographies ranging from mountains to beaches to plains. The appreciated diversity can be a hindrance to the dream of connecting the country with a digital thread, that is both fast and reliable.
Internet Trend 2017 – As the report title suggests it showcases the Internet trends across countries. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) is the Silicon Venture Capital firm and the company behind the report and it focuses on the volume of data consumption. It clearly states that in the month of March 2017, the number of broadband users in India was 227 million. It also shows the rise of broadband consumption levels t0 1.3 billion GB a month by March 2017, a figure which stood at only 200 million GB in the month of June in 2016. As the tremendous growth shows, people are eager to adapt to the Internet, but the onus of providing the best services and ensuring that the infrastructure is in place, lies solely with the Government, its policies and the support it gets from the private sector.
As the events and reports above show, the concept of Digital India is spreading surely and steadily. The enthusiasm of the people to partake in this journey is evident by the increasing number of smartphone users and their astounding growth in broadband consumption. With the support of the Government and the will of the broadband operators, India too can have access to high speed Internet. All that is required is the installation of infrastructure. However, companies such as Airtel are already gearing up towards setting up infrastructure. However, a mightier push both from the public and the private sector together will set the ball rolling in the right direction for digital saturation.