Published On: Sun, Nov 18th, 2018

Millions Unfamiliar with the Internet in Pakistan

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In General, Pakistan is one of the countries that have always remained a bit behind when it comes to technology when compared to others. The internet came much later, and even today the infrastructure is far below average.

69% of Pakistanis Have No Idea What the About the Internet


It is a common fact that Pakistan was one of the latecomers in internet technology and even today the infrastructure in Pakistan is far below average and most of the Pakistanis that are interested in the internet experience low speeds. While the internet speeds are extremely low, it is not surprising that the most recent report revealed that 69% or all Pakistanis aged 15 right up to 65 have no idea what internet is. The report is based on the information gathered via a survey conducted by ICT.

More Information Needed to Understand Access & Usage Gaps

The survey based on around two-thousand Pakistani households was conducted by the think-tank of communications and information technology, LirneAsia, based in Sri Lanka. Helani Galpya, the CEO of LinreAsia said that the active number of cellular subscribers of 152 million listed on the website of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority reveals nothing about the actual subscribers, despite the good system for SIM registration. It does not indicate whether the subscribers are male or female, poor or rich and it does not offer the information needed to understand the usage gaps or access.

Only 30% of Pakistan Population Knows How to Use the Internet

The report analysed the internet problems faced by several Asian countries as well as the lack of development needed to tackle this problem hands on. Currently, only around 30% of the Pakistani population between the ages of 15 up to 65 are aware of the internet and how to actually use it. The main reason for this extremely low percentage is the complete lack of awareness.

The report did highlight a variety of contributing factors as indicated below:

The first was the fact that Pakistan had the lowest urban to rural gap among citizens using the internet which was 13%. When Pakistan was compared to Bangladeshi, Pakistan had the lowest percentage of 43% when it came to the likeliness of women to use the internet over men, Bangladeshi 62% women and Indian 57%.

Quite a high 49% said the main reason why they did not use the internet was its relevance, while over 18% felt that the cost of the internet was just too high, while around 22% said there was no limitation on internet use. The report also revealed that one of the main reasons for not using the internet was the unavailability of smartphones. Most just never had internet capabilities on their mobile phones, and with this, it was emphasised by Helani Galpaya, that it is time to put smartphones in the hands of people and remove the basic phones. Still, Pakistan had some good news from all this, and that is that amongst Asian countries it had the highest percentage of people owning a mobile phone, which was 57%.

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