india-broadband-internetEd Note: The following numbers come from Forbes India dated 5th February who have sourced their data from a TRAI report and Point Topic Ltd.

On the face of it considering India’s growth in the IT sector one would be under the impression that we would be having decent Internet capabilities, unfortunately Internet in India is a pile of poop. I got my hands on the 5th February issue of Forbes India which has an article on India’s broadband, present and future, some very interesting numbers have been published in the article:

  • Mobile telephony – 500 Million subscribers with 15-20 Million added every month.
  • 7.5 Million Broadband Internet users (initially a 256kbps connection was considered as bb, now it is 512 if I’m correct.)
  • A 10 Gigabit/second dedicated Internet connection used by corporate clients and ISPs in India, costs between $9 to $11 Million a year compared to $1.5 to $2 Million in China.
  • Total bandwidth in India provided by the undersea cables is about 18.6 Tbps or 18,600 Gbps.
  • About 91 Gbps is being currently utilized.
  • Bharti Airtel is said to be adding another 20.8 Tbps (or ~26,840 Gbps)
  • Only 3 companies (VSNL, Bharti & Reliance) sell this bandwidth. They are also known as landing stations.
  • ~400 ISPs who buy bandwidth from these 3 companies and provide it to end customers. (yea, 400! Who knew!)

The article states  that India has amongst the slowest Internet speeds in Asia, at the same time the price paid by consumers is among the highest. Most countries have are somewhere between 1Mbps to 100 Mbps connection speeds whereas the average speed of Internet in India is 512Kbps. No surprises there.

One of the reasons for this disconnect as per the article is that there is no regulation over the prices at which bandwidth is sold and bought.