Yesterday, Google completed rolling put its free wi-fi services in 400 railway stations across India, in partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel, which operates a fibre network along the country’s massive network of train tracks. This is one of the biggest public wifi projects in the world.
If one remembers, Google had said in 2015 when Modi visited there that it would be undertaking this initiative and looks like it has delivered on its promise.
Google has stated that over 8 million people use the service. Giving insights into data consumption, Google said that on an average, people consume 350MB of data per session, roughly the size of a half-hour television episode, and over half of the people using Google Station engage in multiple online sessions a day.
What is heartwarming is that while announcing the completion of this roll out, Google shared a few stories of people using their free wifi services for their betterment. One story which struck a cord was that of Shrinath, a porter at the Ernakulam Junction station in the southern state of Kerala, who used the facility to study online and prepare for the Kerala Public Service entrance examination.
Not everyone lives near a railway station thus to benefit rest of India, Google now plans to take this free wifi to gardens, hospitals, police stations, and offices.
For us city dwellers, this might not sound like a big deal and most would not even be using this free wifi. But for majority of Indians, this could be life changing!