By News Desk
Asia News Network
South East Asia has seen the most penetration with China leading the way. In the last decade China has grown tremendously by providing internet from 22 million people to 772 million people in the last decade. China’s internet availability rate has reached 55.8 per cent, exceeding the world average by 4.1 percentage points.
In India, internet penetration in last ten years has jumped from five million to 462 million by 2017. It is expected to grow up to 500 million in this year. However, there is a rural urban divide in the country in terms of internet penetration.
In the last decade internet penetration in Indonesia has grown from 2 million to 143 million. It is followed by Japan with 118 million. Japan although has been far ahead of other countries ten years back with the internet penetration at 47 million in the year 2000.
In Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam 80 million, 67 million and 64 million people respectively have access to internet. Thailand has made internet available to 57 million people in the last ten years.
South Korea was second to Japan in the year 2000 with internet availability to 19 million people. The internet has now reached 47 million people by last year end.
Pakistan has improved considerably from providing access to 0.13 million people a decade ago to 44 million by the end of last year. Malaysia, Nepal and Myanmar have made internet available to 25 million, 18 million and 16 million people respectively by 2017.
By the end of last year 8 million people in Cambodia had access to internet followed by Sri Lanka and Singapore with internet availability to 6 million and 4 million people respectively. Laos and Mongolia have provided internet availability to 2 million people. The smaller countries like Brunei and Bhutan have made internet available to more than 400 thousand and 300 thousand people.
Even with these impressive numbers, level of connectivity still has to improve considerably especially in South Asia. There are many challenges in terms of infrastructure, affordable devices, data plans and digital literacy that need to be overcome.