My best guess is 2 million, or about 10%. If you look at connections along, you get about 1.3 million. Why round-up? Well, because multiple people use connections, people connect at work, and the 1.1 million Sri Lankans on Facebook hint at something more. This infographic is nothing fancy, but it shows you various measures compared to Sri Lanka’s population (about 20.6 million). It’s for a bigger article in The Nation this Sunday.
First there’s hardware – there are about 17.4 SIMs in the country, but I have like 4 SIMs myself. Then the HIES measures that about 12.5% of households has a computer, and there are about four people per household.
Then’s there’s connections. The GSMA measures about 1 million active data connections, while the TRC measures about 300,000 mobile broadband and 280,000 fixed connections. That’s where I get the 1.3 million. Take the 1 million for MoBro and 300,000 from fixed. Note that these are connections, though, especially with fixed, multiple people use a connection. I’m also not sure how businesses are measured. You could have 40 people using one connection there.
The final data point is Facebook users. You can see this by going to fb.com/ads and creating an ad (you don’t have to place one). I set the age range to ‘anyone’ and it tells me the potential reach is 1,126,020. That could be duplicates or people not in Sri Lanka, but I think most are authentic.
For me that number and the connections number are too close. If Sri Lanka had 1.3 million users, then 87% of them would be on Facebook. That seems a bit high, and I don’t think connections=people in the first place.
So, my best guess is 2 million Internet users in SL, or about 10% of the population. What do you think?
This will be a larger article in this Sunday’s Nation.