Google’s Free Wi-Fi Project Is Now Powering 400 India Railway Stations
A Google project to bring free Wi-Fi services to railway stations in India has reached a milestone.
The search giant said Thursday that its Google Station project has helped deliver free, public Wi-Fi to 400 India train stations. As a result, there are now more than 8 million people accessing the Internet each month via the project.
Google first announced its Google Station project in 2015 and pitched it as a way to help improve wireless infrastructure in India, where many people lack stable Internet connectivity. It’s also a way for Google to grow its presence in India — which, in turn, helps its online advertising business, with more people being able to access the search engine in the country.
To help deliver the Internet to the hundreds of different railway stations, Google partnered with the India telecommunications company RailTel and the country’s national railway service, Indian Railways.
Last August, Google said it would bring the Google Station Internet project to Indonesia with the help of Indonesian broadband providers FiberStar and CBN.
Google said that it also has a Google Station project operating in Mexico and plans to debut the initiative in more countries.
Facebook (FB) also has a similar initiative to bring the Internet to more places in India. The social networking giant partnered with India telecommunications company Bharti Airtel for its Express Wi-Fi project that will presumably lead to 20,000 Internet access points installed in different locations throughout the country.
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The Express Wi-Fi project is essentially the successor to Facebook’s previous Free Basics program, which Indian regulators deemed illegal because it only allowed for certain websites to be available.