- The move is aimed at helping accelerate the uptake of broadband Internet services.
- It was first recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 2017.
Key features of the project:
- This will allow setting up of public WiFi hotspots across the country via public data offices or public data offices (PDOs).
- It will not require the PDOs to get a license or pay a fee.
- This will involve multiple players, including PDOs, Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOA), app providers, and a central registry.
- PDOs will be “facilitators” between service providers and users.
- A PDOA will be an aggregator of PDOs that will oversee functions relating to authorization and accounting of Wi-Fi connections.
- A person, who wants to use public Wi-Fi, can do so via an app and will make payments as per usage.
- The project will also have an app developer who will build a platform to register users and discover Wani-compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in an area and display them on the app.
- A central registry, which will be maintained by the Centre for Development of Telematics, will record the details of app providers, PDOAs and PDOs.
Significance of the project:
Public Wi-Fi networks will ‘democratize’ content distribution and broadband access to millions at affordable rates. This will be the UPI (unified payments interface) of connectivity services.