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Rural India's improved connectivity will boost IT spending and adoption

Ahead of the national elections to be held next year and in order gain votes, the government has finally cleared a proposal for Internet and Wi-Fi access in rural India.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor

Each of the 250,000 villages and small towns across Indiais expected to get three Internet connections and one Wi-Fi hotspot by March 2016 as part a government plan to raise connectivity in rural India.

It’s great to finally see some real progress as both broadband internet and telecom operators have stayed away from these regions, with the main reason being that urban India has higher revenue potential versus rural India. However, with the majority of the Indian population living in rural areas, clearly, they can't be left behind and forgotten either.

What will be interesting to see is which delivery method is more popular with users and effective, one of three Internet connections, or general use of a Wi-Fi hotspot instead? Furthermore, this could also result in mini-boom or spike in sales of computer equipment and especially both tablets and phablets in rural India too. In addition to this, there will also be the need for installing, servicing, and repair, and this could result in an entirely new industry emerging in villages and towns.

For the most part, at least now it will be easier for people to both go online and use e-mail. Eventually, more users will be encouraged to try features such as online banking, especially to make payments for utility bills. Right now, not all towns and villages have banks and/or ATMs. In some cases, people need to travel a great distance to conduct simple banking.

By the same token, it's fair to assume that based on usage, perhaps both the broadband Internet and telecom operators will give rural India another look in the future. Of course by then, with everyone using the services being offered by the Indian government, the companies will most likely have to provide some incentives or deals to lure customer away to use their services instead. Too bad private sector doesn't have a political agenda as the Indian government does running up to 2014.

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