Telecom minister Manoj Sinha Monday launched 280 public Wi-Fi hotspots in Odisha’s Bhubaneshwar, as a part of rural connectivity initiative under the ambitious BharatNet program.
“Dedicated 280 rural Wi-Fi hotspots by BBNL at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha,” Sinha in a tweet said.
In addition, he has inaugurated Wi-Fi Choupal initiative for 100 village blocks of Jagatsinghpur district in Odisha.
Sinha has also launched 400 2G network towers and 480 3G network towers for seamless voice and data connectivity in the state, he tweeted Monday.
Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan was also present at the occasion.
BharatNet, being implemented by special purpose vehicle (SPV) Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats or village blocks encompassing 6 lakh villages with high-speed Internet, with five Wi-Fi hotspots in each block.
The department of telecom (DoT) aims to deploy as many as 1.25 million hotspots with a target of 1 million hotspots by December 31, 2019.
Recently, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said as many as 3.7 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots have been deployed by the telecom industry and has also sought a nod from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for interoperability.
Sector watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended public Wi-Fi or public data offices (PDO) to significantly enhance Internet services in India’s rural areas, aimed to bridge the digital divide.