37% rural youth sans Internet access: Study
Four of five Indians could afford internet if data costs fell by 66%, according to a Facebook-commissioned report on internet access. But Indian telecom operators already run data services at a 11% loss, making cost-cutting difficult.
The statistics mean that a data plan, currently priced at Rs 100 should not cost more than Rs 34, if India has to make the internet affordable for 80% of its population.
But the adverse economics imply that this cannot happen without intervention from the government —- whose Rs 20,000-crore ($2.9 billion) plan to connect each of India’s 250,000 panchayats (a village administrative unit) with broadband by 2018 — is three years behind schedule.