The need for rural connectivity has shot up after the coronavirus pandemic kicked in. However, people in the backwards and rural parts of India need access to the digital connectivity at affordable rates. RailTel, a PSU that provides one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure in the country is now looking to provide affordable internet services in the villages of Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
According to a PTI report, RailTel has already sent a proposal to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding the same which is under evaluation.
RailTel Provided Internet Connectivity to Over 2.1 Crore Unique Users Every Month
In the pre-COVID times, RailTel had over 2.1 crore unique users access its network for internet in the Railway stations every month. The company intends to the rural PoPs (Point of Presence) present in the railway stations to deliver affordable broadband services to villages in the Maharashtra and Jharkhand. In the first phase, RailTel plans to deliver broadband services in the concerned geographical areas within a 10 km radius.
In the second phase, the company will look to deliver affordable broadband directly to the homes present in these villages. RailTel already has a sub-brand called RailWire that provides fiber broadband services across multiple cities in India. So the company has a fair idea of how to do broadband business commercially.
The company has already put a proposal for the same with the DoT and it is under evaluation. RailTel has also created an application called ‘PM-WANI’ which will help in providing seamless connectivity to the Indians through public Wi-Fi networks. The application is currently under the testing phase with the CDoT.
The PM-WANI application will be a key enabler in fulfilling the vision of the government’s digital India. It will help with the delivery of affordable internet access to everyone who doesn't have access to digital connectivity.