India largest connected nation with over 800M broadband users: Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the India Internet Governance Forum 2022 on Sunday, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said that India is the largest ‘connected’ nation in the world today with more than 800 million broadband users.
According to data from TRAI, in September 2022, the total broadband subscribers in the country grew to 816.24 million when compared to 624.42 million subscribers in September 2021. The subscribers increased from 813.94 million at the end of August' 22 to 816.24 million by the end of September' 22, with a monthly growth rate of 0.28%.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that we are the largest ‘connected’ nation in the world with 800 million Indian users. 5G and the largest rural broadband connectivity network project at BharatNet will have 1.2 billion Indian users constituting the single largest presence of the global internet. He further said that we also expect further technological innovations as well as updated regulatory policies to remain relevant. The deep involvement by all stakeholders will be the third leg of this Global Standard Cyber Law Framework that we hope will catalyse the Indian internet and the economy, he added.
According to the report, the top five service providers constituted 98.36% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of September 2022. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (426.80 million), Bharti Airtel (225.09 million), Vodafone Idea (123.20 million), BSNL (25.62 million), and Atria Convergence (2.14 million).
The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,175.08 million at the end of August '22 to 1,171.92 million at the end of September' 22, a monthly decline rate of 0.27%. On the wireless front, total wireless subscribers were at 1,145.45 million at the end of September '22, a 0.32% fall from 1,149.11 million a month ago.
The minister also said that India now has a tremendous powerful offering, identity authentication to a very diverse and rich suite of applications, and improved accessibility to the internet to countries in the Global South, which have not been able to step up and create the same sort of pace of digitisation of the economy is an internetisation of their economies.
He further said that during the G20 Presidency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he will be open to India offering that platform to all those nations in the Global South that want to transform their digital economy and their governance model as India.
The multistakeholder architecture of the Indian internet happened after a lot of effort. In the next few years, this multistakeholder engagement must go beyond the intellectual academic discussion to ensure the internet grows and innovation grows while keeping both safe and trusted and accountable for all the billion digital nagriks of India, he added.
India Internet Governance Forum 2022 that took place from December 9 to 11 was themed ‘Leveraging Techade for Empowering Bharat’. Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MeitY, and other dignitaries were present.
Speaking about the second edition of IIGF, Alkesh Kumar Sharma said that the Digital India programme augments India’s mission with digital literacy initiative skills with an exemplary indigenous success story, which has become a world story with technical progress shaping new India.
The theme of IIGF 2022 “Leveraging Techade for Empowering Bharat” is appropriate as India is looking at the major initiative of connecting the unconnected ones with best internet connectivity. He further said that we are looking at building laws which ensure the privacy, protection, data, security and safety of our citizens. We are also looking at how to create a trillion-dollar digital economy in the next three years, he added.
Edited by Megha Reddy