Google wants to bring affordable, public Wi-Fi to the world

The company is seeking out partners happy to spread the Google Station initiative to more countries.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Google has announced a new initiative called Google Station which aims to bring fast Wi-Fi hotspots to public spaces worldwide.

This week, the tech giant revealed Google Station, which builds upon a scheme already set in motion in India. Google, RailTel and Indian Railways have been working together over the past year to bring affordable Wi-Fi to rail users across India, and now, Google wants to extend this arrangement worldwide.

According to the new Google Station website, Google plans to enlist the help of large venues, organizations, network operators, fiber providers, systems specialists and infrastructure companies to bring free Wi-Fi to more locations around India, before extending the project to other countries.

The initiative, announced at the Google for India event in New Delhi, aims to bring "fast, affordable Wi-Fi to millions of people," says Caesar Sengupta, VP of the Google Next Billion Plan.

According to Google India, the original Wi-Fi initiative, first launched at Mumbai Central Station in January this year, has expanded to 52 rail stations and over 3.5 million users have accessed the service.

In total, 15,000 people come online "for the first time" every day through these stations.

It is important for Google to offer an affordable service in countries such as India, considering the average daily wage was 272.19 rupees ($4) in 2014, according to Trading Economics. If connecting to the Internet is made affordable and more accessible, then more people will use Google services -- and the company's growth and user base can grow further in the future.

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