A recent Internet in India (I-Cube) study, carried out jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, identifies Mumbai as the leader among the eight metros in the country in terms of active Internet users. The city leads the pack with 3.24 million ever users and 2.6 million active users, while Delhi is in second spot with 2.66 ever users and 1.80 million active users.
Surprisingly, tech centres Bangalore and Hyderabad have fared poorly in the Internet users’ list, even lagging behind Kolkata, with a dismal 0.97 million and 0.95 million active users, respectively, as per the study. The difference between ever user and active users was the lowest in Pune with a 90 per cent conversion rate, and highest was in Delhi with a poor 67 per cent conversion rate.
Non-metros are catching up with the metros in the Internet users’ category, where the eight metros have shown a decline from 58 per cent in 2001 to 41 per cent in 2006 among ever user category. The corresponding active user category shows a decline from 90 per cent in 2001 to 77 per cent in 2006.
The study shows that Internet users from the non-metros generally access the Net for gathering information rather than for traditional Internet services like e-mails and chats, which are a big draw in the metros. These low figures for communication in the non-metros could be attributed to unfamiliarity with the English language. But, with the rise in regional language portals, the trends are changing in these areas, too, the study adds.