RailTel owned by Indian Railways has announced that the high-speed free Wi-Fi internet facility has now been made available at 6100 railway stations across India. A statement from the RailTel informs that it has already commissioned a Wi-Fi facility at Ubarni Railway Station in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh over Lucknow Division of Northern Railway. With this, the corporation has come very close to providing a Wi-Fi facility in all the stations except for the halt stations.
The Need for High-Speed Connectivity
According to a report from ANI, Chairman and MD of the RailTel, Mr Puneet Chawla in a statement said that the responsibility to implement this remarkable Digital India initiative has been entrusted to Railway Mini Ratna PSU “RAILTEL”. He further added that RailTel has overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and is providing state-of-the-art public Wi-Fi under the brand name of ‘RailWire‘. For those unaware, RailWire is a community-based retail broadband service provided by RailTel.
What makes it more remarkable is the fact that out of the 6100 stations to receive the facility, more than 5000 of those are in rural areas. This has made Wi-Fi accessible to places that are usually out of the reach such as several stations of the North Eastern Region and all the 15 stations of Kashmir Valley. The digital divide in India between the rural and urban areas is quite significant and RailWire Wi-Fi at stations is playing a major role in connecting the unconnected. A majority of stations of this public Wi-Fi network are located in rural India where connectivity is very poor. Thus, access to a Wi-Fi network will not only expand connectivity but will also increase the chances of growth and innovation in the country.
Chawla further added that Wi-Fi facility at stations and particularly in rural areas has become very popular. He added that this project is a very important step in Prime Minister’s Digital India Mission. For those who don’t know, The Wi-fi is free for the first 30 minutes of usage every day at 1 Mbps speed. Users who want access to high-speed internet after the first 30 minutes can opt from a variety of plans which can be purchased online through net banking, wallet, credit card and more.