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A report by Akamai Technologies recently revealed some astonishing statistics about the Internet situation in India. The report records average Internet speed from every country in the Asia-Pacific region, with India at the bottom of the list with an average speed of just 2.8 Mbps.
With South Korea topping the chart at 26.7 MBps, it leaves us wondering as to why India has dropped to the pit. Here are the top 5 reasons why we think India has the lowest average Internet speed in the Asia-Pacific region.
Currently, while BSNL and MTNL are the sole players in the rural Internet sector, private firms like Airtel and Nextra broadband have completely dominated the urban regions. These companies have a cunning way to tackle the customer - FUP. FUP or Fair Usage Policy is their way of throttling user Internet speeds so that he is forced to pay more, hence earning them much more profits. These malpractices often hinder the growth of Internet speeds in India due to non-motivation for such players.
Leaving aside the private sector, the grass on the public sector isn't any greener. As mentioned above, MTNL and BSNL are the only players when it comes to rural and economically backwards regions of the country. Holding a monopoly, these firms aren't slightly worried about competition and thus function according to their own will instead of the market's. This causes high amount of friction in the whole process and does not lead to motivation of increase in Internet speeds. They assume that the audience doesn't need it and the audience assumes that they might be better off without it. Learn something from South Korea please.
The central government recently launched ambitious national campaigns towards the promotion of Internet-based services across the country. The only problem for its damp start is the current scenario of providing broadband services. Facilitating digital benefits to the less privileged seems practical when Internet providers are robust and the infrastructure to provide access is well in place. With shoddy Internet speeds and setups, hoping for a Digital India and an India that works on the Internet, is an extremely ambitious dream indeed.
The government recently announced that the minimum threshold of Internet speed would be kept at 2 MBPS, before throttle obviously. This news is being considered to be a big milestone under the Digital India campaign that PM Modi had initiated in July of 2015. Not to blame the authorities directly, but BSNL sort of creates a monopoly situation, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Whether be it the low penetration causing private players to avoid them or the screwed up licensing system (Ease of Business Index, anyone?), BSNL gets the numbers but quality remains at an all-time low.
A solution to all these issues definitely cannot be just increasing the broadband speeds 10 times (wouldn't hurt though) but instead offering to improve the infrastructure and ease down on the paperwork.
The government wants to make India one of the most, if not the most, widely connected virtual arenas in the world. For that, you simply cannot be satisfied with a broadband speed that is half the world average. The world has 198 countries, mind you. Some socks need to be pulled up real soon.