Sep 22, 2015 08:21 AM EDT

India Broadband Global Penetration Ranking Slips A Few Notches; Internet Growth Lagging?

By Alex Cruz

India's broadband global penetration ranking slipped, The Economic Times has learned from a report by the United Nations.

The State Broadband report was released by the UN Broadband Commission a few days ahead of the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the parallel meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development on Sept. 26.

Although there was a slight increase on the number of individuals using the Internet, from 15.1 percent in 2013 to 18 percent in 2014, India's broadband penetration ranking fell from 113th place to 155th, The Hindu Business Line reported.

Out of 189 countries on fixed broadband subscriptions in 2014, India ranked 131st, significantly dropping from 125th in 2013.

Among 133 developing countries with households having Internet service, India ranked 80, with a 15.3 percent penetration in 2014. Still, there was a significant drop of five notches compared with its 75th rank, with a 13 percent penetration in 2013.

The report is said to confirm that there are 3.2 billion people who are now connected online, significantly larger than 2.9 billion last year. It reportedly equated to 43 percent of the global population.

Additionally, the said report further stated that 57 percent of the world's population still remains offline and is unable to take advantage of the social and vast economic benefits the Internet can offer, according to Dhaka Tribune.

"The UN Sustainable Development Goals remind us that we need to measure global development by the number of those being left behind," Houlin Zhao, serving as co-Vice Chair of the Commission with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, said.

"The market has done its work connecting the world's wealthier nations, where a strong business case for network roll-out can easily be made," Zhao added.

He said that the challenge now is to find ways to get the four billion people online. He stated that it will be the primary goal of the Broadband Commission moving forward.

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