Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is expected to migrate 30,000 of its Wi-Fi hotspots to the PM-WANI (Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) set up by June, according to a Department of telecommunications (DoT) official. All hotspots at the railway stations will be PM-WANI compliant in the future.
Vivek Narayan, DDG (DS), DoT on Tuesday during a Broadband India Forum (BIF) event said:“BSNL would be migrating 30,000 of its hotspots into PM-WANI by June. Railways have already covered around 100 railway stations on PM-WANI and it is going to cover all its hotspots around 17,000 in PM-WANI by June and railways have also stated that all its future hotspots would be in PM-WANI framework.”
He added: “Uttar Pradesh government has announced around 60,000 sites to be covered in for Wi-Fi. We are pursuing them to be brought under the PM-WANI framework.”
According to the official, the telecom department has urged the administration of the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to consider including PM-WANI hotspots in the subsidy scheme for last-mile connectivity. The USOF is Rs 58,000-crore reserve fund, for rural and distant digital connection managed by the telecom department.
Narayan informed:“We are in regular touch with the tourism ministry. We have identified some 3,800 sites and we are in regular touch with the ministry to cover these sites we are in touch with CEO of smart cities. Minister of urban development, I have spoken to him, he is quite interested in optimally utilizing the smart poles in the smart cities and have PM-WANI there.”
The government authorized the plan under PM-WANI to expand broadband access through public Wi-Fi networks in December 2020.