New Delhi: India had 25.51 million broadband users in rural areas as compared to 73.69 million subscribers in urban parts till March 2015, Parliament was informed Wednesday.
"Rural broadband Internet subscriber base is 25.51 million as on March 31, 2015, as reported by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)," Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Karnataka had the highest number of broadband users in rural areas at 2.77 million, followed by Kerala (2.52 million) and Tamil Nadu (2.27 million).
In urban regions, Delhi had the highest broadband user base at 8.7 million, followed by Tamil Nadu (7.56 million) and Maharashtra including Goa (7.44 million) at the end of March 2015.
The total number of broadband Internet users in the country stood at 99.20 million for the quarter ending March 2015.
The main reasons for low penetration of broadband in rural India include poor infrastructure and power supply conditions as well as low levels of computer penetration and literacy, Prasad said.
"Scarcity of relevant content in local/regional languages and Right of Way permission for laying of optical fibre and poor availability of poor optical fibre connectivity are also some of the issues," he added.
Responding to another query, Prasad said government has released funds to the tune of Rs 26.75 crore in 2014-15 for State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG) project.
The highest funding was released to Andaman and Nicobar (Rs 4.30 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 4.01 crore) and Daman and Diu (Rs 3.54 crore).