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1.5 Million Indians Using High-Speed Wi-Fi at Railway Stations

Nearly 1.5 million Indians are using the high-speed Wi-Fi services at 19 railways stations across the country that Google provided as part of its project, the technology giant revealed on Monday.

“On the occasion of the inaugural World Wi-Fi Day by the Wireless Broadband Alliance that aims to provide a platform to help bridge the digital divide, we want to take this moment to celebrate the milestone we have hit with our project with Railtel to provide high speed Wi-Fi at railway stations across India,” Google said in a blog post.

The company rolled out the network at four of India’s largest stations – Sealdah, Lucknow Junction, Lucknow City, and Gorakhpur Junction – last week.

With this project, Google wants to create abundant broadband access to millions of Indians who are either currently not online or are using it in limited capacity.

The company said while it was only at approximately 20 percent of the roll-out schedule for this year, the response has been phenomenal.

“We saw 100,000 users connect to the network within a week of launch at Mumbai Central and as we started rolling out the network at more stations, we saw exponential jump in the consumption of the network,” the post read.

“Users in tier 2 cities latched onto the network with more enthusiasm and we saw much higher consumption of data in tier 2 cities, where access to high-speed broadband is more challenging,” the company added.

According to the data provided, Bhubaneshwar has overtaken Mumbai Central in terms of data usage within a day of the launch and the company is seeing similar usage patterns in other tier 2 cities like Patna, Jaipur and Vishakhapatnam.

The company said that the average consumption per user on the network is 15 times the data they would consume on a 3G pack in a day.

“While the primary usage is focused around infotainment, we are seeing a lot of users in tier 2 cities use the network to look up and apply for jobs online. Bhubaneswar and Pune see lots of students come to the stations to look for up information related to educational courses, exam results, downloading softwares and upgrading their phone apps,” the company noted.

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