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June - 2009 - issue > Editor's Desk
Beyond-the-Crash
Pradeep Shankar
Thursday, June 4, 2009
On May 16, 2009 as the election results came out, it was clear that we were going to have a stable government for the next five years. However, what was becoming unstable was the Election Commission’s new website, specially
created to provide the Lok Sabha election trends and results.

The Election Commission website had crashed because they “had not anticipated so many hits”. Apparently they were only prepared for 2,800 hits per second and got 3 lakh hits per
second resulting in “complete breakdown of the server.” The National Informatics Centre (NIC) had budgeted for 80.64 billion hits in eight hours on the basis of 2,800 hits per second but with 3 lakh hits per second, it received 8.64 trillion hits. Even heavy-traffic websites like Google did not get as many hits.

If one reads between these numbers we get a sense of the ‘Internet savvy’ Indian. Despite the Indian consumer being ‘bandwidth hungry’, if one looks at the broadband penetration
it’s nothing but disappointing numbers. The number of new broadband line additions is growing at a slow pace. A research by Pyramid India’s broadband sector (residential and business users) boast nearly 8.8 million users by the end of this year, hit 12.9 million by the end of next year, and reach 17.7 million at
the end of 2011 — a total that would still leave India with a broadband penetration rate of just 7 percent of all households and business premises, and just 1.5 percent of the total Indian population.

Compare this with China. China with nearly 85 million high-speed lines, has already overtaken the U.S. India’s weakening position in broadband penetration has “serious implications”
for its future competitiveness in a high-tech world. Having the biggest broadband market means a lot more for building a modern, high-tech economy.

The newly elected government should take up more policy measures to accelerate broadband penetration in this ‘bandwidth hungry’ nation.

Please do let us know what you think.
Pradeep Shankar
Managing Editor
editor@thesmarttechie.com
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