RailTel and Google Fiber have got into a collaboration to bring free internet to 400 railway stations in India. The Indian Government under the Digital India initiative has been working on bringing free WiFi to various sectors and Indian Railways is one important sector. While there is free WiFi in some trains like the Rajdhani Express, free WiFi across stations will change the outlook of Indian Railways.
In case you don’t know RailTel Corporation of India is a public sector unit with massive amounts of infrastructure and network. The company is said to have “state of the art multimedia telecom network using SDH/DWDM-based transmission systems and high end routers for MPLS-IP network.” and its network passes through 5,000 railway stations covering an area of around 63,500 kms in railway tracks.
The Google-RailTel collaboration for free WiFi across railway stations has been clubbed under “Project Nilgiri”. The Project Nilgiri will use RailTel’s infrastructure and connectivity along with Google’s fiber technology to bring high speed internet access to Indian Railway commuters. Apparently, the first 30 minutes of the free usage will offer high speed internet, after which the speed will slow down but the connection will be intact.
According to an insider source, “The Indian Railways has currently undertaken a pilot project in combination with google under the code name of ‘Project Nilgiri’ under which in phase 1 we will be setting up Wi-Fi hotspots at approximately 400 stations across India over a span of 4 months from now.”
The news comes from the folks at Telecom Talk, who also got hands on to screenshots (above) detailing the Project Nilgiri. The project is under testing stage but it still shows speeds of 7 Mbps. The Project is expected to get Free WiFi to 400 stations in 4 months from now.
There were reports previously of Google Fiber coming to India but it’s only now that we have confirmation on the same. Apparently, Google would have faced ISP licensing issues but the partnerhsip with RailTel should take care of that.
Well, this is certainly great news for the people of India and now, we can all expect our 1 Gbps internet speed dreams to get fulfilled.