India’s Internet Is High On Security, But Could Improve Infrastructure And Market Readiness


A global study finds India’s Internet is high on security, but could improve infrastructure and market readiness.

Another study suggests the mass of mobile users can access an adequate speed for doing digital transactions — but fixed line access for business needs to improve.

Based on an agency report a few days ago, many in the media headlined that India lagged behind its neighbours in Internet resilience.

A close study of the original source, plus other monitors of the global Internet would however show that this a cup-half empty approach.

According to the recent finding of the annual study by the US-based non-profit Internet Society titled Pulse Internet Resilience Index (IRI), India’s IRI is 43 per cent to Bhutan’s 58 per cent, Bangladesh’s 51 per cent, Maldives’s 54 per cent and Sri Lanka’s 47 per cent. 

The country is ahead of Pakistan. The IRI draws upon more than 20 open data sources to calculate a snapshot of a country’s Internet resilience in terms of its:

  • Infrastructure — The existence and availability of physical infrastructure that provides Internet connectivity.

  • Performance — The ability of the network to provide end-users with seamless and reliable access to Internet services.

  • Security — The ability of the network to resist intentional or unintentional disruptions through the adoption of security technologies and best practices.

  • Market Readiness — The ability of the market to self-regulate and provide affordable prices to end-users by maintaining a diverse and competitive market.

According to the details for India, the country’s Internet scores high on security — 66 per cent, with good routing hygiene, domain name security and protection against attacks.

Importantly it is one of the world’s largest networks 100 per cent compliant with the latest Ipv6 Internet protocol — something less than half the world’s networks or 46 per cent have achieved.

However where India needs to improve is on infrastructure (score 31 per cent) and market readiness (score 35 per cent).

Affordability is rated very high (87 per cent), with one of the world’s cheapest Internet plans.

In the survey there is no weightage for size or speed of the network — and this does matter. The Indian network is larger than that of all the other four nations cited put together, so obviously the infrastructural challenge is a bigger challenge.

The other national ratings in the Internet Society Index for comparison are USA 58 per cent, UK 60 per cent, UAE 48 per cent, Germany 66 per cent, Russia 57 per cent, Norway 66 per cent, with a global average of 57 per cent.

Does Speed Matter?

Average speed is also an important factor — it must sustain the heavy use of the system for digital payments and other services that touch the majority of users.

The industry’s popular Ookla speed test maintains a log of global Net speeds — both on mobile devices and on fibre networks. 

India ranks at 55 among 180 countries for mobile speed of 42.75 MBPS and at 83 for a fixed internet speed of 53.18 MBPS. 

Interestingly, the speed on mobile phones in India, which is now 800 million connections, to access the Internet (according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is faster than that available in the UK (41.35 MBPS).

That nation however offers a faster fixed line speed of 81.12 MBPS. 

It is therefore a case of national priorities: citizens or business. India has  put its money in empowering its large population first, which may not be a bad thing after all.

The pointers to infrastructure and market readiness leaving room for improvement, is something planners may need to address.