New Delhi: The total number of active internet users in rural area is projected to rise by 98% to touch 24 million by December 2011 from 12.1 million in December 2010. Claimed internet user category is also set to grow by an impressive 96% to reach 29.9 million by December 2011 from 15.2 in December 2010. This was highlighted by a recent research jointly conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB .
The study found three reasons for this dramatic growth. One of the main reasons for this growth in user numbers in rural areas is the growing awareness level about internet. According to the research, about 69% of the rural population is aware of internet as opposed to 16% projected in last year’s report.
The second reason for the growth of rural internet users is that access has become easier as is seen from the graph below. Only 18 % have had to access internet from common service centers located outside the 10 km radius as opposed to 54% last year.
Entertainment is driving the adoption of internet in rural areas with entertainment, communication and instant messaging being the main purposes for access. 41% of the claimed Internet users had used the Internet for watching, downloading and listening to music or uploading or downloading pictures while 32% also used the Internet for email, chat and communication .