The only thing that does not seem to fit India's image of itself as a high-tech leader is the Internet. Currently, India's online numbers make it look like a laggard.

In some areas, though, things are changing.

eMarketer estimates there were 27.7 million Internet users in India ages 3 and older in 2005 and projects for 2010 the total to be 67.0 million, a growth of almost 142% over the five-year period. However, the overall population of India dwarfs that of the online community within the country, resulting in only a 2.6% Internet penetration rate for 2005.

Citing the falling cost of broadband, a rising demand for e-commerce and increasing .in domain registrations, the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) says Internet adoption is growing in India, and at a record pace.

According to the IAMAI, the number of Internet users in India reached 38.5 million at the end of 2005. That is up 54% in the last year. The trade organization expects 100 million Internet users in India by 2007.

When it comes to broadband, however, India has a lot of catching up to do. According to Point Topic, India has managed fewer broadband connections than Hong Kong, a region it out-populates by nearly a billion. Analysts have estimated broadband penetration to be no more than 3% in India.

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