New Delhi: India has only two unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses per 1,000 people. But a just-released study says the country's net penetration could "significantly increase in the coming years", with its economic boom and growing IT adoption.
Every machine that is permanently connected to the Internet has a unique identifying number, called an IP address. A typical IP address looks like this: 188.8.131.52.
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A study by web application acceleration and performance management major Akamai saw 2.1 million unique IPs from India. With this, India ranked 14th in terms of unique IPs, a growth of 4.5 percent over the last quarter.
Perhaps reflecting its large population base, the country had 0.002 IPs per capita - translating to two unique IP addresses per 1,000 people.
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India also ranked 15th in terms of attack traffic origination in Q2, contributing one percent to observed global attack traffic - last quarter India was ranked 10th. These are countries where bots and hackers are based and originating from, which Akamai is observing through its network. It is indicative of bots and crackers (malevolent hackers) who are trying to compromise vulnerable systems.
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"Japan and the US have almost 50 percent of the observed attacks originating from them. India contributes to one percent of attack traffic origination," commented Akamai India marketing manager Karthikeyan D.S.
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The percentage of broadband connections from India with speeds above 5 Mbps (high broadband) and 2 Mbps (broadband) were 0.6 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, Akamai's study said.
Reflecting the mainly-slow speed but still spreading nature of India's Internet access, high broadband IP per capita was 0.01 (1 IP with speeds above 5 Mbps per 100,000 people).
The percentage of connections with speeds less than 256 Kbps from India was 26 percent, meaning nearly one-fourth of users use slower-speed lines to get on to the net.
India has an estimated 32-46 million active Internet users.
The number of users has been growing at over 25 percent per year for the past three years.
Akamai marketing and product management head Bruno Goveas told IANS from Bangalore that the growth in India reflected a "good positive trend... there's opportunity in the Indian market".
He argued that unique IPs were one of the "best representations" for traffic on the net. Akamai has a global deployment of 36,000 servers in 1,000 networks and in 79 countries, he said.
"In India, our servers are present in all major ISPs. We look at and are constantly monitoring issues such as performance, packet loss issues, connectivity. Ours is an overlay network, located in all major ISPs," he said, declining to mention specific numbers of ISPs.
This report said several new submarine fibre initiatives were announced during the quarter, which, when completed, will improve Internet connectivity between Europe, India, and the Middle East.
It said: "A consortium of 16 telecommunications firms has contracted to build a 15,000-km submarine cable system linking India with Europe via the Middle East. The Europe India Gateway (EIG) will cost $700 million and add 3.84 Tbps of capacity."
Among global IP addresses connecting to the Akamai network, South Korea topped the list of countries with the greatest levels of high broadband (over 5 Mbps) connectivity.
Akamai Technologies India's Thursday-released second edition of its quarterly "State of the Internet" report is available for download at www.akamai.com/stateoftheinternet.
It focuses on key Internet statistics such as origin of attack traffic, network outages and broadband connectivity levels across the globe.
During the months of April, May, and June of 2008, over 346 million unique IP addresses connected to the Akamai global server network - five percent more than during the first three months of the year.
Findings from the report also include a closer look at the trend of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to continue to target exploits that were identified years ago, suggesting there is still a significant population of insufficiently patched systems connected to the Internet.
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Akamai, named after a Hawaiian word meaning smart or intelligent, is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It provides a distributed computing platform for global Internet content and application delivery.
It was founded in 1998 by then-MIT graduate student mathematician and entrepreneur Daniel Lewin (killed aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed in the 9/11 attacks seven years ago). One of its co-founders was the BITS-Pilani-educated Preetish Nijhawan, who was then an MIT Sloan School of Management student.