September 29, 2015
It’s hard to believe in our constantly connected world that there are over a billion people, just in India, who do not have access to the internet. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, is making real plans to change that.
Pichai, who grew up in India, and rode the train to school, recently announced that Google will be working to get train stations in India online. This will give over 10 million people, mostly commuters, access to the internet. They are starting with 100 train stations, and ultimately hope to build it to 400 stations.
“Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day,”Said Pichai, in a blog post. “This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead. Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.”
Google is working with Indian Railways and RailTel on the initiative with the goal of having all 100 stations online by the end of 2016. Indian Railways operates one of the world’s largest railway networks, and RailTel plans to bring the first stations online in the next few months with RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines.
The announcement was made in conjunction with Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi visiting the Googleplex. Modi will be visiting a number of the big tech companies during his US visit, including Facebook.
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