How many Internet users and broadband connections in Sri Lanka?

Posted on November 14, 2012  /  3 Comments

In light of growing talk of a new divide that is emerging, this time a broadband divide, two indicators are beginning to assume greater importance: Internet users/100 and broadband subscriptions/100.

Not all Internet users have Facebook accounts, but all Facebook users are, by definition, Internet users. Some people may have multiple Facebook accounts, but not as many as those who have multiple SIMs. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the number of a country’s Internet Users exceeds the number of Facebook accounts from that country.

In October 2012, there were 1,448,160 Facebook accounts from Sri Lanka. So it would be safe to assume that the number of Internet users in Sri Lanka is higher than 1.4 million.

The Telecom Regulatory Commission reports there were 839,928 mobile broadband connections and 398,094 fixed broadband connections as of 2012 September. The total number of connections is 1,238,022. There is some double counting here, with the same people having fixed and mobile connections, but we can assume that the number of broadband connections is around 1.2 million.

The ITU figure of 12 Internet users/100 will yield a number in excess of 2.4 million (Sri Lanka’s population is slightly over 20 million). This meshes with LIRNEasia estimates based on correlations with HDI numbers.

So, bottom line is
Sri Lanka has 1.2 million broadband connections, as of September 2012 and 2.4 million plus Internet users (the ITU estimate was for 2011). Since Facebook is a personal application, we could estimate that there may be as many as 1.4 million broadband connections.


  1. Most mobile Operators throw FREE data bundles for mobile 3G users to get them to use 3G. But most of these users never continue using. Most Operators struggle in there broad band penetration strategies. These subscribers only tryout the free bundle and forget about it. These users cannot be counted as continuous Broad Band users.

    One reason for low Broad band penetration is the significant difference in Charges between Broadband over mobile and dongal (via a broad band only packages). Still broad band is a luxury for an average mobile user. TRC should look at this seriously if they want to grow the number.

  2. Here is my latest analysis on Sri Lanka internet penetration and the mobile internet usage, hope this will be useful.