Cabinet approves setting up of Public Wi-Fi Networks by Public Data Office Aggregators
New Delhi, December 9, 2020
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for the setting up of Public Wi-Fi Networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) to provide Public Wi-Fi service through Public Data Offices (PDOs) spread across the length and breadth of the country.
The proposal by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) aims at accelerating the proliferation of Broadband Internet services through a Public Wi-Fi network. There will be no license fee for providing Broadband Internet through these networks.
This Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface will be known as PM-WANI. The Public Data Office (PDO) will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers, an official press release said.
The Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA) will perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting. The App Provider will develop an App to register users and discover WANI compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display the same within the App for accessing the internet service.
The Central Registry will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs. To begin with, the Central Registry will be maintained by C-DoT.
While no registration would be required for PDOs, PDOAs and App Providers will get themselves registered with DoT through an online registration portal (SARALSANCHAR; https://saralsanchar.gov.in), without paying any registration fee. Registration will be granted within seven days of the application, the release said.
"This is expected to be more business-friendly and in line with efforts for ease of doing business. COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated delivery of stable and high-speed Broadband Internet (data) services to an increasingly large number of subscribers in the country including areas that do not have 4G mobile coverage. This can be achieved by the deployment of Public Wi-Fi.
"Further, the proliferation of public Wi-Fi will not only create employment but also enhance disposable incomes in the hands of small and medium entrepreneurs and boost the GDP of the country.
"The proliferation of Broadband Services through public Wi-Fi is a step towards digital India and consequential benefit thereon. Waiver of the license fee for providing broadband internet services using public Wi-Fi Hotspots will encourage its proliferation and penetration across the length and breadth of the country. Availability and use of Broadband will enhance incomes, employment, quality of life, ease of doing business, etc.," the release added.