Government should accord Public Wi-Fi special infrastructure status: Vivek Banzal, Director CFA, BSNL
Vivek Banzal, Director CFA, BSNL, while addressing a gathering on the World Wi-Fi Day, said that the government should consider giving public Wi-Fi special status as has been done to electricity. He said that this will help the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) achieve its feat.
Vivek Banzal, Director CFA, BSNL, while addressing a gathering on the World Wi-Fi Day, said that the government should consider giving public Wi-Fi special status as has been done to electricity. He said that this will help the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) achieve its feat. The event was attended by Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Minister of State for HRD, Communications & Electronics & IT, Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director, DoT, Satya N Gupta, Chairman-India and BIMSTEC, Asia, among others. World Wi-Fi Day is a global initiative to help bridge the Digital divide. It is organised by the Wireless Broadband Alliance under the leadership of Connected City Advisory Board (CCAB).
"We urge the government to accord Public Wi-Fi special infrastructure status as has been done to electricity so that the objectives of the NDCP are achieved. BSNL is committed to spread Wi-Fi services in rural areas by creating powerful partnerships with local entrepreneurs," Banzal said.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has in its policy document has given due recognition to the role of Public Wi-Fi by liberalizing Public Wi-Fi by targeting a creation of 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2020 and 10 million by 2022. Public Wi-Fi is aligned to the government’s programme under to identify, assign and allocate license exempt spectrum besides licensed bands for meeting the broadband targets.
"Internet is now increasingly becoming a ubiquitous commodity and is something that no Indian irrespective of their social and economic standing can do without. It is now one of life’s essential requirements. We have to set up 1-1.25 lakh digital villages this year. I would like to reaffirm the government’s commitment to continue working to bridge the digital divide. Our endeavor to enable this will continue and public Wi-Fi will be a cornerstone of this," Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre said.
The government also believes that public Wi-Fi could bring the costs of broadband delivery to as little as 2 paise per MB, thereby making it more affordable to the common man. Public Wi-Fis are also expected to have a transformational impact on transport corridors, public venues, office buildings, local entrepreneurs as well as the millions of Indians who are still on the wrong side of the digital divide.