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DoT asks telcos to provide a three year framework for building public Wi-Fi system

August 09, 2018

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the telcos to provide a three year framework for building public Wi-Fi systems, thereby implying that the government might favour licensed operators for larger broadband proliferation.

Recently, at a meeting attended by regulatory heads of all telcos and industry bodies, Aruna Sundarajan, DoT Secretary laid out the government’s public Wi-Fi ambitions and also heard about the roadblocks towards implementation of public Wi-Fi hotspots.

During the meeting, the DoT secretary assured that the department will look into licensing restrictions that prevent infrastructure sharing between internet service providers (ISPs). As per the licensing norms, two ISPs cannot share infrastructure. This could be a hurdle for public Wi-Fi.

Further, the DoT also addressed other grievances that could impact the roll-out of public Wi-Fi. The DoT would address the clause around eligibility issues that have come up in the recent Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) Wi-Fi tender.

The DoT is planning to roll-out around 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country by the end of 2018, with at least one in every village in India.


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