The belief that one can continue to work without internet and not having prior experience of using the web have emerged as some of the top barriers that stop people from going online, according to a survey.
The survey — conducted by ICT policy and regulation think tank LIRNEasia — found barriers to adoption like respondents saying ‘they can continue work without internet ‘ (75%), not having required connectivity devices (73%) and not having prior experience of using the internet (52%).
The other barriers included respondents saying they believe using internet is too complicated.
Interestingly, India has close to 350 million internet users, making it the world’s second largest population online after China.
However, this is under 30% of the country’s population and much lower than China’s penetration rate of over 50%.
The LIRNEasia survey includes response from 1,329 people in Arain (Rajasthan) and Parvada (Andhra Pradesh) blocks. It was conducted to assess the interest and capacity of the users to use and access internet in gram panchayats.
P Vigneswara Ilavarasan of IIT Delhi, who led the survey, said, “The survey reveals that only one-third of them use internet and nearly 70% of non-users do not have any intention to use internet in near future”.
The use of Bharat Net is in single digit, which is a challenge as well as an opportunity for Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) and the government as more institutional users are required to experience the benefits of internet for demonstration effects, he added.
For respondents using internet , mobile internet emerged as the predominant form of access with median spends of Rs 300.
The top three activities done by individual users was reading information Online, listening to music and radio online and watching videos, the survey said.