The prime minister’s Digital India Initiative took yet another stride with a new partnership between Google, Indian Railways and RailTel to provide free WiFi at railway stations in India. The new project aims to give free high-speed internet access to millions of Indians commuting by train across the country. Starting by covering 100 stations by 2016, the project will build up to include 300 more stations in its network.
In his blog, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called this the largest public WiFi project in India which will give web inclusion to some of around 1 billion Indians who still have no access to the internet. Microsoft too has plans to partner with India in another project to provide low-cost broadband to 500,000 Indian villages to help foster creativity, efficiency and productivity at the grassroots and give them an outlet for their talents. Among other welcome developments, Qualcomm expressed its commitment to “providing local innovative start-ups with the support needed to help India’s IOE (Internet of Everything) ecosystem grow” and has offered to invest $150 million in the mobile and Internet of Everything industry.