How Wi-Fi is set to play a big role in India’s connectivity transformation

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As the Telecom Commission has given its green signal to the project of connecting all the 2, 50,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country under the ambitious National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) initiative, it is set to utilize all the strengths of WiFi as a great connectivity enabler. This may usher in a new era of WiFi enabled connectivity at the Gram Panchayat level.

WiFi, is a popular technology that allows an electronic device such as a mobile or smartphone to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using radio waves. This poses to be a big game changer specifically in rural India where there is no connectivity regime. As part of this proposed initiative, there will be one WiFi hotspot in each of the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats spread across the country and provide the much needed connectivity solution for the masses.

As part of this initiative, the National Telecom Policy is looking towards providing high speed and high quality broadband access to all village panchayats through a combination of technologies by the year 2014 and progressively to all villages and habitations by 2020.

As part of the proposed arrangement, the existing Universal Service Obligation or USO fund will provide the initial capital expenditure of Rs 3,750 crore while  Ministry of Rural Development fund the operating expenses of about Rs 1,860 crore. And this project is set to be executed by Bharat Broadband Network Limited. The tenure of the project is envisaged as 10 years to ensure viability and rural connectivity enablement.