Tech Industry

Nearly 1 billion Indians still have no Internet access

With the wider Internet adoption, India could see a major push in growth, job creation and improvements in public services, according to the World Bank.

Indian PM Narendra Modi has made broadening Internet access in the country one of his priorities.

The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has grown increasingly focused on giving more people access to the Internet, but the majority of the country's citizens are still offline.

Nearly 1 billion people in India are yet to connect to the Internet, according to a World Bank report. As of 2014, India's population was estimated to be around 1.3 billion, according to data from the World Bank and the US' Census Bureau.

The report added that the Internet adoption rate was high in government firms, but low for small and medium-sized businesses.

With a wider adoption of the Internet, the World Bank says that India could see a major push in growth, job creation and general improvements in public services.

The report comes months after India's telecoms regulator banned Free Basics, Facebook's controversial initiative, which aims to bring affordable access to select Internet services to less developed countries. At the time, privacy advocates in the country condemned Free Basics, noting that it was violating Net neutrality, the principle of equal access to all types of content and services on the Internet.

That's not to say that the Indian government hasn't done anything to bring connectivity to more people. In 2011, the government initiated the National Optical Fibre Network project to provide broadband connectivity to more than 200,000 villages.

Though India is the country with the greatest percentage of its population unconnected to the Web, the World Bank report states that it still has the third largest number of connected users in the world. It's beaten only by China and the US.