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With broadband connections up by 4%, India crosses 800 million internet subscribers

Of the 778 million broadband connections, most of them are in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and UP (East).

Picture of broadband cables

India had 778.14 million wireless and wireline broadband connections at the end of March 2021, an increase of 4% over a three-month period, according to data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Narrowband connections declined by 1% this quarter from 47.7 million connections reported in December 2020. There are still 47.2 million narrowband connections in the country.

TRAI defines Internet connections with download speeds less than 512 kbps as narrowband, while connections with download speeds more than 512 kbps are broadband. It’s worth noting that the TRAI had recommended redefining the minimum broadband speed to 2 Mbps.

The total of 825.3 million Internet connections includes both wired (broadband: 22.75 million; narrowband: 3.25 million) and wireless connections (broadband: 755.35 million; narrowband: 43.96 million). A majority of these Internet connections are on mobile.

Between January and March 2021, total broadband connections increased by 5.2% in rural areas and by 3.4% in urban areas. Broadband forms a 94% share of the total connections while narrowband forms the remaining 6% of total connections.

Key observations

1. Delhi had the highest number of broadband connections in an urban area with 41.09 million, followed by Maharashtra with 40.38 million, and Tamil Nadu with 39.78 million connections.

2. Bihar had the highest number of broadband connections in a rural area with 31.65 million, followed by Uttar Pradesh (East) with 30.3 million connections, and Maharashtra with 27.2 million connections.

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3. Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) had the highest number of broadband connections in the country with 67.57 million connections. Andhra Pradesh is in the second spot with 60.86 million connections, followed by UP (East) with 56.86 million connections.

4. Broadband connections in hilly states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and the northeast region including Assam are still very low with a total of just 38.26 million connections.

5. UP (East) added the highest number of broadband connections in rural areas with 2.3 million connections between January and March 2021. In urban areas, Tamil Nadu topped the list by adding 1.7 million connections during the same time period.

6. Overall, UP (East) added the most connections during the three-month period with 3.1 million connections.

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