in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

Akamai’s Rankings of Internet Broadband Speeds and Penetration

Uhmm, I stumbled upon this piece in Rediff about the top internet speeds across the world. The list crowns South Korea as the leader of the pack with the average connection speed of 15Mbps. Bro, it is 15 Mbps, arghhh! How dumb I am all along, I never thought the connections existed beyond top speed of 5Mbps in any part of the world. But, here not even the top speed, but it is the average speed that South Korean government is dishing out to its citizens. Oh my God! A HD movie which could be downloaded in say 10 minutes, a torrent worth a huge video file in 15 minutes, a HD webcam transmitting without having to pause for ages and I can dream on for tons of possibilities. Bull crap, we might think, but in fact it is accessible just somewhere in this part of the globe. And the countries which are proud leaders in this segment are taking initiatives to bring even higher speed connectivity, including Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). Also, mind you, the average connection speed of the globe is 1.5 Mbps.

South Korea is also ranked first in terms of higher broadband connectivity with its majority of the subscribers (69%) getting at least minimum speed above 5Mbps. But, it is understandable the success of the broadband penetration given the relatively smaller and highly denser population of South Korea.

Who else? Japan ranks second with 54% connections above 7 Mbps, Hong Kong at third with almost similar average speed of Japan, Romania fourth with 5.7 Mbps joining closely with them is Sweden at fifth position, followed by Swiss over speed of 5 Mbps, but only leading the seventh seeded Netherlands marginally. Belgium, Slovakia and Norway occupy the last three spots with an average of 4.5 Mbps.

Oops! No wonder that girls of Romania and Slovakia are regulars on webcam sites. You can’t help but admire the great benefits of such high speeds.

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I could largely see a pattern associated in this graph, which is all the nations at the top are relatively smaller in size and population. Though, that cannot be the reason for incompetency of other 203 countries in the list barring few hopeless countries we at least have 100 countries still left with .

Expectedly, India comes almost last in that 100 country with Rediff quoting that we are dismal with the average Internet connection speed of 772 Kbps. Excuse me; 772 Kbps? Average speed in India? I beg to differ with this stat, when I last heard the Internet Penetration in India hovers somewhere around 2.5% of the entire population. i.e the number of users stand somewhere around 30 million. It’s also a fact, according to the India Online 2007, that only 37% of the users come from top 10 cities. Hence, a staggering 63% of the available users are from rural households. This is contrary to my belief that 90% of the subscribers come from top cities.

Let’s first have a look at these urban Internet users. If we agree, the speeds such as 2 Mbps or more is largely consumed by the corporations and enterprises with majority of the individual users having either 256 Kbps or 512 Kbps keeping in mind the price to utilization ratio. If we consider the rural areas, they don’t even have the options of 1 or 2 Mbps connection available for them. Already the urban’s average falls between 256-512 kbps, put rural majority also into the mix, which would bring that average connection speed miserably further down even, roughly leaving us around the figure of 300-350 Kbps as an average net connection speed. Keep in mind the another horrible fact that of the 30 million subscribers said above only 2.5 million use Broadband or superior connections, which even brings my figure to its nadir somewhere around 60-80 Kbps. Refer here to the TRAI’s 2007 telecom report. I think the average Internet Speed of 772 Kbps (half of the global average Internet speed) is a far cry for us, with our hopes still rooted to the ground.

Oof! Ironically, did you know that Congress Government declared 2007 to be the “Year of Broadband”? This is one among their innumerable promises and their constant stressing on how they are pro-reform and pro-development striving government. May be they thought that India would be much better off without people having instant access to the information they seek.

At its best, India managed to inch ahead of Nigeria in Broadband penetration.

Forget about the Broadband, India stands nowhere as far as even the Internet is concerned. But that’s another story reserved for another day.

P.S: Between I checked my Broadband speed and I am jubilant enough that I get 14 Kbps more than my subscribed speed and it stands beamingly at 270 Kbps. Check for yourselves below.

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April 8, 2009 Posted by | eWorld, Information Technology, Infra Structure, International, Internet, Issues, World | 2 Comments

India sleepwalks to Total Surveillance by GoI

 

The IT Act 2000, one of the crucial laws for security actions against cyber crimes, the first in Indian history was passed by the NDA government. NDA government also set the parameter stating as the cyber crime is highly dynamic and often complicated in nature, it would set up the panel to update the law to keep it relevant.

The amendment for the aforementioned bill, called as The IT Amendment Bill 2006, was passed by UPA government. The amendment was passed in a hurry on the December 22 2008 in less than 5 minutes without any debate which is regarded as one of the most controversial laws to have ever been passed in the nation India. Let me put it in simple terms, the amendment allows the government to intercept messages from mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices to investigate any offence, not serious offence of the grade of terrorist attacks, but any silly offence that you might negligently commit.

As one website puts it in more detail of the whole amendment,

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Any email you send, any message you text are now open to the prying eyes of the government. So are the contents of your computer you surfed in the privacy of your home.

Around 45 amendments have been made to the original Act, which now treats both publishers of online pornography and its consumers on equal footing. A law so sweeping in its powers that it allows a police officer in the rank of a sub-inspector to walk in or break in to the privacy of your home and see if you were surfing porn or not. It’s the personal morality of the official that will decide whether the picture/content you were looking at was lascivious or appeals to prurient interest.

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More info here.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Information Technology, Internet, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment