TECH TALK: Mass Market Internet: Internet Community Centres

India may have 25 million phone lines, but nearly the entire country of 1 billion has access to telecom. This is because 1 million of the phone lines go into Public Call Offices (PCOs). These manned telephone booths are there in every neighbourhood of the country. Similarly, we need Internet Community Centres, which provide need-based access to the Internet for the masses.

Cybercafes have sprung up across India, offering access for Rs 25-50 an hour. They may not be economically viable if they offer only Internet access. There is an opportunity to go beyond plain vanilla narrowband Internet access and do a lot more at these locations to build a business which makes money. India can learn from South Korea, where there are 20,000 PC Rooms. These Internet Community Centres can:

By creating multiple revenue streams and offering innovative applications and experiences, these Internet Community Centres offer the way forward for the mass market in India.

Send in your feedback to

Short URL:

The reader-friendly version of the story, TECH TALK: Mass Market Internet: Internet Community Centres, is made available for your personal and non-commercial use only.