The Union Cabinet on December 9 approved setting up of public Wi-Fi networks across the country that will be provided through public data offices (PDOs). The Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) is being seen as the Centre’s attempt to improve wireless internet connectivity.
Calling the PM-WANI scheme as historic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it will revolutionise the tech world and significantly improve Wi-Fi availability across the country. It will further boost the "ease of doing business" and "ease of living", PM Modi tweeted.
"The scheme would enable our small shopkeepers to provide WiFi service. This will boost incomes as well as ensure our youth gets seamless internet connectivity. It will also strengthen our Digital India mission," the prime minister said in another tweet.
How will it work?
> PDOs will be set up on the lines of Public Call Offices (PCOs). These units will establish only PM WANI-compliant Wi-Fi access points to deliver broadband services to subscribers.
> These units will be able to either provide internet on their own or lease it from other internet service providers. There will also be PDO Aggregators (PDOAs) that will look after authorisation and accounting of these PDO units.
> An application will be developed to register users and help them discover WANI-compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in nearby areas.
> A central registry will maintain details of app providers, PDOAs and PDOs. The registry will be maintained by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).
> However, according to a report by The Economic Times, a customer wanting to access the network from a PDO’s premise can do so only after an eKYC authentication. This authentication can be done by the app provider. A customer would have to download the app provider’s app from a mobile app store once he/she enters the PDO premise.No license fee will be charged for providing broadband internet services, according to the Ministry of Communications. “Availability and use of broadband will enhance incomes, employment, quality of life, ease of doing business, etc.” the ministry added.