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Indian Railways builds largest public WiFi network

PW Bureau

The free WiFi facility will also benefit users staying near remote railway stations to use public services like online railway bookings, net banking etc. New Delhi: The Indian Railways’ plan of providing Indians with WIFI services at stations has produced fruitful results. With services in over 700 zonal railway networks in the country and close to 8 million unique users per month, the Railways has launched the largest public WiFi network in the world by providing free high-speed WiFi on its railway stations, according to Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain. The move has been a part of a welcome effort by the government to increase digital presence in the second most populous country in the world. In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Gohain said that the Indian Railways intends to offer 5,734 railway stations free WIFI, adding that the railway project has been pivotal in the Modi government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative. Last year, the American tech giants revealed that the service, which provides 30 minutes access to a WIFI connection, had users consuming 350MB of data per session on average. The service commenced in Mumbai Central station in January 2016 as one of the initial ‘Digital India initiatives’ and within a year of its launch, close to 100 stations were covered under the scheme. The facility of free WiFi will also benefit users staying near remote railway stations to use public services like online railway bookings, net banking and so on.