Similar to what the government did for the new rupee sign and the Swachh Bharat logo, now Trai has opened up a new contest for the name and logo design of Public Wi-Fi networks. It was last year when the Indian telecom regulator published its recommendations on ‘proliferation of broadband through public Wi-Fi networks’. Later when the consultation on the same recommendations were going on, issues like technical interoperability and seamless connectivity of Wi-Fi networks, innovative payment, commercialisation and monetisation models, and collaborative alliances were discussed.
The discussions and recommendations came to fruition when it was decided that an open architecture based Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) would be set up in the country to facilitate cheap public Wi-Fi services to the public.
As per an ET report, Trai said in a statement “It is a uniquely designed Indian model to provide reliable internet service that is also interoperable, easily discoverable, and will extend benefits of existing schemes of the government like BharatNet, BHIM, JanDhanYojna.”
For now, these public Wi-Fi hotspots would be called as ‘Public Data Offices (PDOs)’. However, Trai wishes to have a better name and logo for these entities through a way of public contest. There was an official statement regarding the same calling for entries before July 2. The statement read Name and logo suggestion contest for Wi-Fi hotspots of WANI compliant networks is an initiative of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to make the citizens participate in this developmental process.”
There is also a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for the winner who designs the logo and suggests an appropriate name for the PDOs.
It was in April this year that Trai chairman R S Sharma presented a report on ‘public Wi-Fi open pilot project’ to Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha after the success of the first phase of trials conducted by the regulator. Trai has an audacious goal of providing cheap internet to the public, especially in the rural areas on rates which are 10% of the current data costs. The PDOs which have been built on the same concept as the PCOs will be set up by small businesses or merchants who would like to provide Wi-Fi hotspots to the public using either free or paid model.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.