Govt to install 5 lakh wi-fi hotspots in rural police stations and schools, floats tender

To empower rural population with efficient Internet service, the government has offered tender to place over 5 lakh wi-fi hotspots across gram panchayats (GP).

According to the tender document, the project will cost around Rs 40,000 crore.

The tender document quoted by ET said it intends to outline a high-level approach for implementation of Wi-Fi hotspots or any other suitable broadband technology at every GP covered under the BharatNet program of Bharat Broadband Network Limited.

One wi-fi hotspot will be deployed in GP with a population of up to 1,000, 2 in GP with a population of 3,500, 3 in a population of up to 7,500, 4 for 12,000 population and 5 wi-fi hotspots in GPs where the population is above 12,000, it added.

About 2.3 lakh GPs are estimated to be covered under it. The budget for installing wi-fi hotspots per GP is set at Rs 1.5 lakh.

The project is planned to be rolled out before the end of this year.

Once completed, Wi-Fi hotspots will be instaled in social institutions like police stations, schools and post offices. It is aimed at empowering citizens with a quick update and efficient service. The service will also allow the user to make voice calls using broadband.

Earlier, the project got approval from the telecom commission using Bharat Net broadband infrastructure.

Under Wi-Fi Choupal scheme, there are already over 43,000 wi-fi hotspots installed in rural areas. In six months, Wi-Fi hotspots under the rural broadband project ‘BharatNet’ has seen 190 per cent jump in data usage to 95 tera byte.

Meanwhile, the vendor, who will participate, will be responsible for deploying wi-fi and maintain the whole infrastructure for a minimum period of four years.

Earlier during this year budget presentation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed DigiGaon initiative to provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology. It claims to help in access to services including getting domicile certificate, pension schemes, mobile recharges, etc at their door step.

The government has also planned to expand its Digital Village or DigiGaon initiative, underway in six villages, to 700 villages by end of this year.

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