The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to provide Wi-Fi across the country. If everything goes well, then this move by the regulator will give internet access at an affordable cost to people.
We see mass-scale Wi-Fi deployment as a means to democratize the penetration of affordable high-speed internet across urban cities and rural areas," top officials at Trai told TOI.
"The idea is to ensure that a consumer can easily move from his mobile network to low-cost public Wi-Fi hotspots without having to go through multiple authentication issues. New intermediaries to provide Wi-Fi will help have higher touch-points for internet that can run into millions," a source said.
The regulator plans to provide internet for 2 paise per MB against the existing rates of around 10 paise in the mobile telecom market.
TRAI will file this recommendation in front of the ministry soon, the report added.
According to Trai, Wi-Fi technology and hotspots are yet to pick up in India when compared to other countries.
The regulator has already floated two consultation papers on low-cost public Wi-Fi system. While globally, the number of Wi-Fi spots have increased 568 percent from 2013 to 2016, in India, this number is at a meager 12 percent.