Maharashtra has topped the list of internet subscribers in the country at 29.47 million, followed by states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. According to government data, India had a total of 342.65 million internet subscribers at the end of March 2016. Tamil Nadu had 28.01 million subscribers, while its neighbours Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had 24.87 million and 22.63 million, respectively.
Himachal Pradesh had the lowest number of subscribers at 3.02 million. Data showed that out of the over 342 million subscribers, more than 67 percent are from urban India. The rural internet subscriber base stood at 111.94 million at the end of FY16. Tamil Nadu has the highest number of urban subscribers at 21.16 million, while UP (East) telecom circle leads in terms of rural internet customer base at 11.21 million.
At the end of March, Delhi had 20.59 million internet users, while Mumbai and Kolkata had 15.65 million and 9.26 million, respectively. The government plans to enable more people to log on to the web. BharatNet project aims to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country through broadband.
This will be done by using an optimal mix of underground fibre over powerlines, radio and satellite which will be shared by all categories of service providers on a non-discriminatory basis. The project is planned to be implemented in three phases. In the first phase, 1 lakh gram panchayats are to be connected by laying underground optical fibre cable by March 2017.