Indian ISPs are biggest roadblock of Digital India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated Digital India to transform India into a digital country where most of the people and government departments are connected to Internet. This initiative comes with a vision to make people computer literate and transfer all paper works into digital work. This will reduce corruption, improve transparency and make all work faster. Recently Narendra Modi were in United States where he met the executives of various companies and requested them to invest in India to improve the necessary infrastructure to make ‘Digital India’ a success. But, India’s existing infrastructure and current Internet state is worse than we think. And this is why, government should fix the one of the biggest roadblock of Digital India.
Backbone of Digital India
Digital India will only be a success, if people of India can get good Internet connectivity. This is the reason why Indian Government must create strict guidelines for Indian Internet Service Providers. Without proper Internet, Digital India is not possible. If people of India will not have Internet, how will they be the part of Digital India. After Internet, people must have most of the service online and easily accessible. All government departments should update their websites to be user friendly, easy to access and clear to elaborate everything to users. There should be a proper training for people living in rural areas so that they can be the part of this digital India to take benefit of Internet.
Is this backbone strong enough?
In India, there are various big and small ISPs claiming to offer high speed plans. But very small percentage of users are satisfied with their Internet service providers. Most of the Internet service providers are not offering what they claim. Indian Internet users are getting one of the worst Internet services of the world. Worse thing is that ISPs are not ready to listen. Users do not have option because Internet is the integral part of life and they are bound to pay very high cost of Internet without getting proper service.
Government must look into this matter in the same way it is looking into the call drop matter.
Now, Indian telecom companies are gearing up with 4G network. Airtel has already started claiming that they are best 4G service provider in India. But they are also claiming too much in their ads. 4G is only limited to specific service providers but 3G is present in most of the parts. But Internet is still not satisfactory. Most of the users report very bad connectivity even in 3G network. GPRS and EDGE is just for name. People spend hours just to see a single web page.
Good Internet is limited to only few metro cities (sometimes specific parts of these metro cities)
These questions must be answered by all Internet users
These are three questions govt must ask to all the Internet users of India and then decide if their Digital India is going on right track.
- Are you satisfied with your broadband service?
- Are you satisfied with your telecom provider’s’ Internet connectivity (EDGE, 3G or 4G)
- Are they listening to your complaints and providing proper support?
Digital India initiative can only think of success when majority of Indian internet users will start answering ‘YES’ in all these three questions. At this point of time, I do not think there will be enough users who can say ‘Yes’ in all these three questions.
Current State of India’s Internet services
Akamai’s “state of the internet” report is already out. So, we have latest data about the state of Internet around the globe. India has average internet speed of 2.4 MPBS and average peak speed of 18.7 MPBS.
Only 11% Internet users get speed above 4 MPBS and only 1.6% users get speed above 10 MPBS.
Above data source: State of Internet
Above data clearly explain the current condition of Internet users in India. This condition is very serious because India is one of the fastest growing startup ecosystem. Without proper Internet, most of the Internet related startups will fail. When we have services like Uber, Ola, foodpanda, zomato, Flipkart, snapdeal, practo and many others, we want Internet on the go. But, we are still struggling to get proper broadband connection. Proper 4G or 3G connectivity is still so far from users.
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