To support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ campaign during his visit to the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Google has announced that it will launch high-speed public Wi-Fi services in 400 railway stations across India.
Google’s newly appointed CEO Sundar Pichai on Sunday announced the plan to launch Wi-Fi services in collaboration with Indian Railways and internet provider RailTel. This new partnership will enable millions of railway passengers with the world of web wirelessly, and let them connect with the internet during their journey.
“We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web,” Pichai wrote in a blog post. “That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our US headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.”
India-born Pichai said that the search giant is set to deploy its Access & Energy team to kick-start the new Wi-Fi project in the country. First 100 railway stations are expected to get the Wi-Fi services before the end of 2016, while the remaining stations are likely to be followed “in a quick succession”.
The first 100 stations that will get the Wi-Fi services are claimed to offer web access to more than 10 million passengers. Moreover, the project is predicted to be ranked as the “largest public Wi-Fi project” in the country.
“We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not,” Pichai added.
Modi-led NDA government had announced Wi-Fi services in 400 busiest railway stations at the time of announcing the Railway Budget 2015 back in February. Therefore, it appears that the government has finally chosen Google as its partner to offer the same promise in a new way.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Wi-Fi services would bolster internet growth in India, and would persuade more passengers to opt the state-run railways as their means of transport for travelling in the country.