The central government is planning a four time increase in public Wi-Fi hotspots across the country by the end of 2021 through the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme, Economic Times reports.
The registrations for the applications to offer these services will be rolled out in the first week of January.
“C-DoT, the technology development centre of the DoT, is working to make ‘Wi-Fi access boxes’ widely available at around half the market price and we should open the registration process by the first week of next year,” said Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.
India currently has five lakh hotspot access points and this will be increased to two million towards the conclusion of the coming calendar year.
Registrations can be done as a public data operator aggregator (PDOA) on the central registry portal. Following that the PDOAs will collaborate with small businesses and setup Wi-Fi access points to provide hotspot in public spaces.
They will have to purchase bandwidth from telcos and internet service providers and subsequently resell it to the consumers.
“We are facilitating meetings between PM Wani stakeholders and various telcos and ISPs to start this process. Any PDOA can take services from the government’s technology development centre. We have done this to reduce the capex for PDOAs,” Prakash was quoted in the report.
Users will have to choose from a list of all PDOAs providing connectivity from the Wani application to access the Wi-Fi. The government is working swiftly to implement this initiative as the Union Cabinet had approved it merely a few weeks ago.
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