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Government sets target to deploy 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by end-2018

May 21, 2018

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set a target of deploying 500,000 Wi-Fi hot spots by December 2018, up from the current 38,000.

The Telecom Commission had accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations on setting up public data offices (PDO) on the lines on public calling offices in order to boost public Wi-Fi hot spots. This could potentially also create employment opportunities by having a new category of service providers through PDO aggregators (PDOA). These PDOs will buy data from TSPs and ISPs and resell sachet-sized data packs starting at Rs 2.

According to the Telecom Commission, cascading taxation has to be done away with in order for VNOs and PDOAs to flourish. The DoT is already working on how to avoid cascading taxation. The DoT will establish a light-touch licensing regime for the proliferation of PDOs and PDOAs for providing internet access through Wi-Fi hot spots.


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