The cyber cafes (once the only option for mass young India to be online) is not going great now a days due to the fast-spread of personal internet connections in India.
During 2000, a study found that The average time spent on surfing [at cafes, as there's no other options] was 1.2 hours, with Delhiites logging the highest of 1.7 hours and Bangalore clicking the lowest time of 0.8 hours.The majority of frequenters to these Internet access spots were college students in the age group of 19-25 (49.1 per cent), followed by executives and businessmen in the 26-35 age bracket (32.1 per cent). The survey found that most popular activity was sending e-mail and participating in chats. A majority of them also come from affluent backgrounds.On the spending trends of cyber cafe users, the study found that video games, video cassettes and recorded music were more favoured in comparison to buying of newspapers and magazines or watching television. They spend one-third of their total infotainment budget on cyber cafes. Another interesting finding of the survey was that though 70 per cent of the cafe visitors said they were aware of Internet commerce, only a tenth of them had actually conducted transactions through the Net. The most popular items of purchase were books and CDs.
Yesterday, a news published at The Hindu indicates that with unlimited broadband connection available at less than Rs.1, 000 at home, few come in cafes (other than the students who has no net connections at their rooms). A cafe owner stated “After one year, I suspect there will be hardly any of us around, especially with 3G mobile services in such demand,”. With business having dropped by more than 60 per cent in the last few years, there is hardly any profit made now after the rental and maintenance charge, he says. "Regular scrutiny by the police which ensures cabins are not closed and the demand for details from customers irritate those who seek privacy," said a cafe owner. “We had more than 150 browsing centres in this area alone till last year. While many have shut down, the intense competition has forced most of us to offer unreasonably low tariffs of less than Rs.10 an hour,” says Kannan, who runs the fourteen-year old Galaxy Net in Triplicane. He says he makes barely Rs.8,000 (US$178) a month, which according to him hardly covers the depreciation cost of computers now. He no longer hires assistants like he used to five years ago when the business was at its peak.
Some cyber cafes still make about Rs.15,000 a month, but only by staying open for 14 hours every day. For the ones in areas where power cuts occur frequently, life is all the more difficult. Some also admit that quite often they resort to dubious means in order to survive, ranging from downloading new movie releases to allowing users to surf objectionable content!
Holding online study centres and examinations, arranging video conferencing between companies and even matrimonial alliance management for families are things we do to keep business on track, says A. Subburaman, who runs a cyber café in T. Nagar.
Since most cyber crime activities originate from cyber cafes, we are extremely strict about recording the identity of the user so that it can be tracked down,” says Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, CCB, M.Sudhakar. Regular checks by instructors also help in deciding which cyber cafes licenses are not to be renewed, he adds.
And then there are the lucky ones like Satheesh Babu, who started Genius Planet, a cyber café in 2002, only to shut it down in 2008. He says, “The regular walk-ins had stopped coming by 2007, and the customers were restricted to medical representatives, and some emergency browsers. I did face a loss of Rs.5 lakh, but that was the time to take the cue.”
Read more at : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Chennai/article1718950.ece