Tuesday 16th July 2024

RailTel Playing Crucial Role in Bringing Internet to People

Oct 29th, 2021 5:23 pm | By | Category: SPECIAL NEWS COVERAGE

Puneet Chawla,
RailTel Corporation limited.

Internet plays a crucial role in today’s world to keep us connected. Access to internet is a basic necessity today, especially after the global pandemic. RailTel being a leading ICT solution provider has become an enabler of digital services to help people and organization stay connected for the past two decades. India has a stark digital divide between urban and rural India and RailTel has a vision to bridge the gap by propagating access to internet.

RailTel has been a pioneer in transforming railway stations into platforms of digital inclusion by providing state-of-the art public Wi-Fi. This Wi-Fi network is one of the largest integrated Wi-Fi networks in the world connecting 6060+ stations across country out of which 80% Stations are in rural areas. More than 2.1 Cr unique users/month used to access Station WiFi network (pre-covid times). We intend to use the rural PoPs at these stations to deliver Broadband services to villages in a 10 Km radius in the first phase and beyond in second phase bringing affordable internet to village homes. A proposal for providing internet at villages of Jharkhand and Maharashtra has already been submitted with Department of Telecom and is under evaluation.

RailTel’s retail broadband service “RailWire” brings affordable internet to households and MSMEs. This collaborative broadband model ropes in local entrepreneurs and cable operators for providing last mile connectivity creating a sustainable eco system for growth. As of October 2021, RailWire had a FTTH subscriber base of over 4.2 lacs use¬rs, which grew 223% since April 2020. RailTel is now putting dedicated efforts into expanding the RailWire business in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and rural areas where the demand and supply gap is huge. RailTel has already signed an MOU with CDOT for development of low cost, reliable, Customer Premises Equipment and Network Monitoring System. This will reduce reliance on equipment from land bordering nations and will enhance network security.

RailTel has played a crucial role in the Bhartnet project which aims to connect gram panchayats across country. RailTel, as an executing agency, has laid 25,800 kilometers of optical fiber cables for 9,519 Gram Panchayats and made 7824 Gram Panchayats (including BHQ) Service Ready under Bharatnet. RailTel is now working on participating in the PPP model of execution of Bharatnet RFP to connect villages.

RailTel is now set to play a more crucial role in connecting people by playing a pivotal part in PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) project which envisages to proliferate broadband through public Wi-Fi networks. RailTel is already a registered PDOA (Public Data Office Aggregator) under this project and has developed & deployed PM WANI solution across its WiFi network at 6063 Rly Stations.

On the occasion of International Internet Day Puneet Chawla, CMD /RailTel said “We have created a PM WANI App which will help people connect seamlessly with available public wi-fi networks. This App is under testing with CDoT. The deployment of Mobile App based PM-WANI compliant Public WiFi network is essential for delivery of easy to access and affordable internet, a key enabler to fulfil the vision of our Prime Minister of having a digitally connected India, where Wi-Fi services are available in every village.”

This will also facilitate ease of doing business and encourage local shops and small establishments to become Wi-Fi providers thereby harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of village youth thereby generating job opportunities and facilitating transparency in delivery of citizen centric services.

RailTel intends to continue to be a torch bearer for bridging digital divide by serving the underserved through its multi-dimensional approach by enabling its broadband service partners to establish Public Data Offices (PDOs) and penetrate internet to village level by all possible alliances.

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