Now you can not think of spending the day without the Internet! In this case, many people use Wi-Fi connection in the hope of getting endless data and high speed service, for which a certain amount of money has to be spent at the end of the month. But this time, Digital India’s journey towards free WiFi service has gone one step further. Last Wednesday, the Union Ministry gave the green signal to build a free public WiFi network across the country. The government will provide this free service to the people through Public Data Offices (PDOs). Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the service would be provided as part of the Prime Minister’s WiFi Access Network Interface or PM-WANI project, with no separate payment to the government for its registration.
Incidentally, in 2016, the country’s telecom regulator TRAI was the first to question the provision of free WiFi services. Almost three years later, the government is now taking this important step. According to the report, the PM-WANI project could play an important role in meeting the data needs of people living in areas of the country where 4G network coverage is not available. But in that case, the government will have to build more public WiFi zones.
Please be informed that PDO officials will be responsible for the maintenance and accounting of the public data offices or PDOs through which the government will provide free WiFi services to the public. Users will be able to register for the PM-WANI project through an app developed by a third party app provider. These apps will also help you find WiFi hotspot zones that follow the PM-WANI project.
Google’s free WiFi service
Please be informed that free WiFi service was launched in this country in 2015, by the hand of Google. At the time, Google, a joint venture between Indian Railways and RailTel, announced free WiFi service at the country’s 400 busiest railway stations. This announcement is effective by 2018. However, in February this year, Google withdrew from the service. The company’s decision is due to the fact that mobile data plans are currently very cheap in India. In fact, they are of the opinion that people no longer need free WiFi services because of the Unlimited Data Plan. In this context, even though Google broke the war with Indian Railways before the end of the agreement (May, 2020), Railtel still maintains free WiFi supply at more than 5,600 stations across the country at its own risk.
Facebook’s WiFi service
Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been instrumental in popularizing free public WiFi services in India. After nearly a year and a half of testing, in 2016, the social media giant ‘Facebook Express WiFi’ service was launched. Facebook is not taking this step by forming an alliance with about five hundred local entrepreneurs or businessmen. In this case, they launch vouchers worth Rs. 10/20 to Rs. 200/300 per month, which can be used to access the internet very easily. So far, this service of Facebook is available in different regions of the country.
So, last but not least, the recent decision of the government to provide free public WiFi service in the face of increasing demand for internet is really commendable. But since we have so much data in our hands now due to the Unlimited Mobile Data Plan, let’s see how successful the government’s PM-WANI project will be!