Dibrugarh Railway station on Thursday became the 400th stations in the country to go live on in the state of Assam under RailTel (a CPSE of Indian Railways) project.
Providing high speed public Wi-Fi to citizens across 400 train stations was launched as a key initiative under government’s Digital India program by RailTel (a CPSE of Indian Railways) in partnership with Google. Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, the project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nation-wide optic fiber network backbone created by Railtel.
Starting from the launch by the then Railways Minister at Mumbai Central in January 2016, Google designed and deployed the wireless infrastructure on top of fiber optical network in the station created by RailTel.
Offered as a free utility service under the brand name “RailWire” to millions of commuters who travel through stations every day, the service saw instant adoption by users as the project gained scale and momentum.
Within the first year of the project, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online-enabling 15000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day. In the last year and a half, 300 new stations were added across the length and breadth of the country, with Dibrugarh becoming the 400th stations to go live today in the state of Assam.
On the successful completion of the project, K. Suri, Director, Partnership, India, Next Billion Users, Google India, said, “Bringing high speed connectivity to millions of Indians across train station, has been an incredible journey and underscores the importance of investing in public Wi-Fi as a crucial step in getting high quality internet to everyone in India.”
With thirty minutes of free access to the internet, user on an average consumes 350 MB of data per session. While majority of the users are in the 19-34 age group, efforts to help older and first time users of the internet with on ground support staff has helped millions of users experience the internet for the first time.
Over 35% of users on the network are first time Wi-Fi users. Interestingly, over 50% of users access the internet multiple times in a day-highlights regular usage by users who work of pursue their occupation from the train stations.