The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to install 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country under its ‘Public Open Wi-Fi’ program. This will be in addition to the 600 hotspots that it has currently made active as part of a pilot program to provide fast and secure internet connection to users. The official launch of the program will happen next month and it will go live with more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
The DoT is primarily aiming to install these hotspots in tier 2 and tier 3 cities to offer them access to a stable internet connection. According to the overall plan, the telecom body plans to install up to 1,00,000 such hotspots in the next 3 months. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan says that this plan will create employments for thousands of young entrepreneurs who will benefit from free internet.
In the 2018 budget, the finance ministry had allocated Rs. 10,000 crores for the Open Wi-Fi project. This was started under the Digital India initiative and the overall plan was to install 5,00,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country.
Another Public Wi-Fi program that is currently active is a partnership between Google and Indian Railways which offers high-speed internet at over 400 stations at present. The program will expand to more stations in the coming months.
With so many Public Wi-Fi programs, we can expect to access free high-speed internet in major public places. For instance, malls already have free Wi-Fi. This will largely be beneficial for people in smaller cities to gain uninterrupted internet access.