According to Akamai’s Q3 2015 rankings, the average downlink Internet speed in India is 6.5 Mbps and the average uplink speed is 10 Mbps.
Population & Internet Coverage
The current population of India is 1.322 billion. Over 60% of residents have access to the Internet, especially broadband connections.
Main Types of Access to the Internet
– Dial-up Internet
– ADSL Internet
– Cable Internet
– Wireless Internet (in remote areas)
Internet Access – ADSL & Dial-up
ADSL is arguably the most popular internet service in India, being provided mostly in medium and large cities. In large cities, internet speeds (both downlink and uplink) are generally acceptable, especially if there is healthy competition between providers. Where no competition exists, speeds are very slow by international standards. Furthermore, cities and otherwise any other regions that are uncovered by broadband connections present a worryingly high number of dial-up connections; in 2013, the total number of dial-up connections stood at a steady 25.33 million. This is a clear indicator of the state of the local technical infrastructure.
Internet Access – Cable Internet
Cable internet has entered India with a bang, due to the inherent advantages boasted by this technology over traditional DSL connections that are becoming more and more unreliable. However, because cable technology also requires dedicated infrastructure (DSL is provided through existing phone lines, which decreases costs on the provider’s end significantly), and because the actual rollout process is not inexpensive, it has not seen particularly high penetration rates. Still, many analysts assert that this is bound to change in the future, as demand for high internet speeds continues to grow slowly but steadily.
Internet Access – Wireless Internet
It is very important to bear in mind the fact that the Indian internet market is very chaotic – possibly the most chaotic in the world save for underdeveloped markets. New companies are founded every day, some providers merge with others, or go bankrupt altogether. This problem affects the market on a national scale, therefore a great number of customers are forced to switch between numerous providers all the time, and this process can prove to be puzzling in time. Consequently, customers who wish to avoid being caught in the crossfire opt for wireless internet. This service is also sought after by people located in remote areas.
Internet Censorship in India
Internet can be accessed freely in India. There are no major restrictions on internet access apart from content that could incite violence or hatred, or otherwise any other content that is illegal in the country (e.g. drug trafficking-related websites). However, due to the significant increase in web hosting companies in recent years, the government has imposed specific regulations to prevent or counteract proliferation of inappropriate content. For instance, legal bodies may force web hosting providers to provide information about certain individuals that are subject to investigation without obtaining a warrant beforehand.