On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal to set up public WiFi networks across the country.
The Cabinet said in a statement that it has approved "the proposal of DoT for 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 length and breadth of the country to accelerate the proliferation of Broadband Internet services through Public Wi-Fi network in the country."
"There shall be no license fee for providing Broadband Internet through these public Wi-Fi networks," it added.
"The proposal will promote the growth of Public Wi-Fi Networks in the country and, in turn, will help in proliferation of Broadband Internet, enhancement of income and employment and empowerment of people," it added.
The Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface will be called "PM-WANI".
The PM-WANI will be operated by different players as follows:
- Public Data Office (PDO): It will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.
- Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): It will be an aggregator of PDOs and perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting.
- App Provider: It 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.
- Central Registry: It will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOAs, and PDOs. To begin with, the Central Registry will be maintained by C-DoT.