January 22nd, 2016
Source: economictimes | Image Courtesy: reuters
Passenger at Mumbai Central will be the first benefactors of Google’s WiFi hotspot project which seeks to provide high speed internet connectivity across 407 railway stations across India. The internet speed according to Google CEO’s own words will be “faster” than what many Indians could access today. The high speed of the internet could be availed by users at Mumbai central to do anything from downloading a book to streaming a video.
Google’s projects is built on the existing pan-Indian network of Optical Fibre built by RailTel a Miniratna PSU which is one of the largest telecom infrastructure provider of India, who have laid close to 45000 RKMs of fiber network connecting close to 60 % of India’s population with more emphasis on rural areas.
Digital India’s new avatar
The project is expected to be completed in phases, 100 busiest stations in 2016 and the remaining in consecutive years. The project was an outcome of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The project is symbolic of Sundar Pichai’s support for Digital India initiative of Mr Narendra Modi. The association and the camaderie exhibited among silicon valley CEO’s and Mr Narendra Modi was much looked upto and admired.
Self Sustainable means only one thing
There is caveat though on the Google Hotspot project, while the access to internet through the hotspots is going to be free, Mr Sundar Pichai did mention the project will eventually have to be self sustainable which would mean the access to internet through the hotspots will eventually be monetised. Monetised or not, there is all to look forward to, a billion people connected through high end telecom infrastructure will provide a billion more possibilities for a better future.
The Logical Indian is excited about the project and lauds the government in associating with the Silicon CEO’s to enable connecting Indians. In the interest of Inclusive development we can only hope, the day it is monetised, the price will be such that all Indians could afford it.
-A partnership between Google and Indian Railways will see high-speed Wi-Fi deployed at 400 railway stations across the country, making this the largest public Wi-Fi project in India. While the first 100 stations are already preparing to go online before the end of 2016, why were railway stations chosen as hubs for digital expansion and what opportunities for development does greater connectivity open up for India?
The Logical Indian invites our community to share their opinions and expertise on the following:
1.) Could WiFi be made available free to all Indians, given the tangible benefits it entails?
2.)Do we have the resources, will and intent to do it?