In the coming six months, the government of India will install tower-mounted Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. The priority will be to provide internet in remote locations, providing villagers to connect to the service using their mobile phones.
A new proposal dubbed Digital Village, the government plans to enable free Wi-Fi to 1,050 rural villages across India.
In 2016, India overtook US as the nation with the most Facebook users in the world. And the internet giant Google installed free Wi-Fi at more than 100 railway stations in India. Digital Village could prove the state a key player in a marketplace, and the domestic Internet providers and international tech companies would likely to invest more in India, to tap into an unconnected population of more than 900 million Indians.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in 2015 said, “There are a billion people in India who do not have access to the Internet yet and if you care about connecting everyone in the world, you can’t do that if there are so many people who don’t even have access to basic connectivity.”But Zuckerberg’s campaign “Free Basics” was criticized by Indian tech activists and regulators, stating that it violated the principle of net neutrality.
In its initial phase, at a cost of around $62 million, the project Digital Village will tackled onto the government’s ongoing optical fiber cable roll out.