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India’s internet economy to grow to $200 billion by 2020: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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According to India’s Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s internet economy will grow to USD 200 billion by 2020, thanks to growth of literacy in computer use and increase in data use.

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The minister accepted that the broadband penetration in India is slow and that the government is working on addressing the issue in a “time-bound manner”. The National Optical Fibre Project (NOFN) is one of its initiatives to increase broadband penetration in the company.

The minister said at the India Digital Summit, “For the Internet Economy to touch 200 billion by 2020 that will contribute 5 per cent of gross domestic product, we need to move at a fast pace towards computer literacy. The other key areas which will help the Internet economy to grow is Mobile Internet.”

He also added, “I accept that India’s broadband penetration is low but we are working on NOFN project to resolve this in a time-bound manner. Around 10 lakh kilometres fibre has been laid in the country during the last 25 years, and under NOFN we have plans to lay 7 lakh kilometres fibre in about 3 years plus time.”

The NDA goverment recently launched the Digital India Programme, which the minister thinks will be a game changer and broadband will be playing a key role in making it a success.

Prasad submitted the India@Digital.Bharat report to the government. The report suggests ways to the government to increase the internet economy of the country, which is currently at $60 billion. The measures suggested in the report is expected to grow the internet economy by three times by 2020.

The internet economy employs 4-5 lakh people currently and the grown in the economy should create 15-20 lakh jobs. According to the report, the present number of Indian users in India is around 190 million and if the growth initiatives go as planned, we can expect 550 million internet users in India by 2018-20.

India is the fastest growing country in terms of internet economy and along with the NOFN project, the government plans more initiatives to ensure internet economy growth.

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