[India] Delhi No. 2 in internet access

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  • Subject: [India] Delhi No. 2 in internet access
  • From: "Irfan Khan" <KhanIA@super.net.pk>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 23:11:52 +0500
  • Sender: owner-s-asia-it@lists.apnic.net
      Dec 15 2000 
      Delhi No. 2 in internet access
      Sudha Nagaraj 
      NEW DELHI 
      DELHI is fast emerging as the hot new cyber hub in the country. On 
      the heels of a progressive state IT policy that envisions promotion 
      of IT for the masses, e-governance, IT investments and a couple of 
      gungho reports on its geographical location and historical advantages 
      comes the revelation that it has the second largest number of 
      Internet subscribers in the country. 
      With 3,19,616 Internet subscribers, the national capital has more 
      than half of Maharashtra’s 6,19,524 Net connections, about double of 
      Karnataka and as much as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu — the two 
      traditional IT centres — put together. 
      In fact, the Information Technology Policy 2000 of the Delhi 
      government has identified conversion of Delhi into a regional hub for 
      Internet, e-commerce and digital services traffic as one of the 16 
      steps to make Delhi an IT hot-spot. 
      Says S Regunathan, principal secretary to the chief minister and in-
      charge of IT, “Delhi is not even a typical state. It is only a town, 
      so, among metropolitan cities, it is leading in Net connections. In 
      the next two years, we expect the subscription base to touch two 
      This will be helped by the optic fibre network being laid by 
      Spectranet — already 700 kms have been laid. Reliance has also jumped 
      in. That means Net penetration through cable will also be possible. 
      With Delhi having the highest number of TVs, many others like Bharti 
      are interested in laying fibre.” 
      Economic, political and geographical factors do play an important 
      role in the IT complexion of a region. This is evident in the pattern 
      and number of internet subscribers across the country. 
      The BIMARU states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar 
      Pradesh — with the exception of Rajasthan — are also the biggest 
      states in India, and account for less than one lakh connections, 
      whereas Maharashtra alone has six times the figure. 
      As on September 30, the connections in Rajasthan (35,260), Madhya 
      Pradesh (32,186), Uttar Pradesh (25,881) and Bihar (4,187) have 
      thrown up the Northern states in poor light in the Net economy. 
      The “connected” South is better off with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka 
      leading the pack with 2,91,032 and 1,93,876 subscribers respectively. 
      Tamil Nadu’s performance as the third best is aided by the fact that 
      it has several “educated and industrialised” cities and towns, and 
      does not fall back heavily on just one capital city, like, say, 
      Karnataka does on Bangalore. 
      Andhra Pradesh disappoints with a mere 91,103 subscribers. So much 
      for all the hype about cyber chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 
      his IT revolution. Fully-literate Kerala is making good strides with 
      49,582 subscribers. 
      West Bengal with 1,60,054 connections is fourth on the list while 
      Gujarat follows with 1,13,633 connections. Both government and 
      industry sources cite VSNL, Caltiger, Satyam, Dishnet, Bharti, MTNL 
      and BSNL as the leading ISPs in the country today, servicing a total 
      of 20,45,509 subscribers. 
      Despite the growing gap between the top cities and the laggards, the 
      industry is upbeat about its initial projection that Net connections 
      will double every six months for the next five years. 
      Says Amitabh Singhal, secretary, Internet Service Providers 
      Association of India, “As on March 2000, the total subscriber base 
      was about 9.61 lakh… so, we were right after all. It should be 
      remembered though that the subscriber base only refers to those who 
      are paying for the connection. 
      The number of users would be five-fold, which means if the 
      subscribers account for 0.2 per cent of the population, the user-base 
      translates into 1 per cent, that is 10 million users.” As of now, PC 
      penetration, which stands at 4.5 million, has limited Net penetration 
      to 2 million users, he says. 
      Going by the trend of cable operators turning into ISPs, Singhal is 
      confident that the user base will spread across the 35-million cable 
      connected homes, thereby expanding to 10 per cent of the population 
      in just five years.