Soon you can leave the paperback book at home when you travel by train in India. Google will start providing high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations that see millions of people pass through every day.
For this project, Google has partnered with the Indian Railways and RailTel, a government-owned telecommunication company, to get started by covering 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016. People can expect the first stations to be set up in the next few months.
In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that even though 2016 will only see a quarter of the proposed 400 stations get Wi-Fi, it will already “make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day.”
India already has about 300 million people online (of which 100 million started using the Internet for the first time in the last year), and Pichai wants to keep the momentum going. This project will allow people preparing to travel on the rails to stream, browse and download in the same manner they would on their home Wi-Fi. A huge boon for this project is that it's free, although eventually Google would like it to become self-sustaining to make it possible to provide Wi-Fi to more stations and places.
India's railways can carry 21 million people daily, and according to ComputerWorld there are plans to increase that capacity to 30 million passengers in the next five years.