According to a report 'Internet in India 2017', the number of Internet users in India was estimated to be 481 million in December 2017, a growth of 11.34% over December 2016 estimated figures. The report was jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar IMRB.
The report finds that the number of internet users is expected to reach 500 million by June 2018. According to the report, as on December 2017, the overall internet penetration is 35 per cent of total population.
Urban India witnessed a growth of 9.66 per cent from December 2016 and is presently estimated to have around 295 million internet users as on December 2017. On the other hand, Rural India witnessed a growth of 14.11 per cent from December 2016 and is presently estimated to have around 186 million Internet users as on December 2017.
Owing to the low base effect the growth rate of Rural India may seem higher, given overall internet users in Rural India are still critically low. Internet penetration in Urban India was 64.84% in December 2017 as compared to 60.6 per cent last December.
In comparison, Rural Internet penetration has grown from 18 per cent last December to 20.26 per cent in December 2017. Given that the total Urban Population is much lower than total rural population, the Urban-Rural Digital divide is actually more acute than what the penetration numbers portray.
The report also finds that an estimated 281 Million daily Internet users, out of which 182.9 million or 62 per cent access internet daily in an urban area, as compared to only 98 million users or 53 per cent, in rural India. Almost double the proportion of Rural Users access internet less than once a month in rural India as compared to Urban India.