The broadband party has only just begun

One interesting point caught my attention whilst reading the Internet in India – 2006 report. The fact that the gap between PC Owners and Internet connection owners is steadily decreasing. As can be expected, Internet connection owners are a sub-set of PC owners; however the degree of difference was startling.

In 1997, only 9% of PC owners had an Internet connection. Today the figure stands at 76%. This adoption is due to the increasing availability of broadband which is being well received by Indian households. 27% of Internet connection owners have a broadband connection, and the penetration is expected to reach 75% by 2010. BSNL and MTNL are doing a stellar job in promoting broadband.

Let’s just stop and examine the business implications of this development:

a. Broadband implies better surfing experience which should translate into longer hours on the net.

b. Most households have one telephone connection and the presence of broadband implies that the phone line can be used for dual purposes, and hence is not likely to be blocked for making calls at the expense of Internet surfing.

c. A better surfing experience translates into greater advocacy for the Internet – and the surfer becomes an endorser. It is a well known fact that for intangible services, centres of influence become extremely important for pushing forward a change in consumer behaviour and expanding the market beyond the early adopters.

d. Finally a faster connection to the Internet is a boon for e-commerce. Consumers have a way to surf through multitudes of shopping portals, and seek what they want. They can also ‘window shop’ effortlessly and compare goods before purchase from the comfort of their armchair.

I was reading about the top 10 categories being shopped for in India. Any guesses? The top 3 blew my mind.




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