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2,500 more Wi-Fi hotspots to rise across India

Posted: 12 Jan 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi  Internet  Digital India  hotspots 

The government is embarking on a huge project to connect the country to the Internet by installing 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots in 256 locations by the next fiscal, Indian Express quoted Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Prasad added that in the next six to seven months, the government targets to reach as much as 50 crore Internet subscribers.

According to the minister, mobile penetration today stands at 100 crore, while Internet penetration is 40 crore. In the past it took them almost four years to reach 30 crore, and less than a year after that to achieve 40 crore. This time, Prasad aims to cross 50 crore in half a year.

In addition, he said the state-run BSNL will put up 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots in 256 sites.

The project is part of the Digital India programme which aims to make government services available to citizens electronically and to ensure that people enjoy the benefits of information and communication technology.

"Digital India will transform the country, and it is more for people like chaiwallas and paanwallas so that they can enhance their skills," The Indian Express quoted Prasad.

Local language compatibility

Together with this project, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITy) also plans to make feature phones sold in the country to be compatible with a local language, according to a report by Economic Times.

DeITy recently sent a draft amendment as notification of the new measure to the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).

A senior government official told the Economic Times for Digital India to become a success, it is important for devices to be compatible with at least one Indian local language and to have digital content in Indian languages.

In addition, the official said that the BIS will send the order requiring the compatibility by March. The department did not disclose when the new norm will be applicable to smartphones. Currently, most handsets in the country already support different local languages, but the government wants this to become fixed now.

Smartphones are slowly gaining traction, but feature phones get a stronger hold of the handset market at over 60 per cent share.

- Stephen Padilla

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