Google announced last year that it would bring free high-speed Wi-Fi access to over 400 train stations across India, with 100 stations connected by the end of 2016. The search giant is on its way to meet that target, with public Wi-Fi now available at 19 stations. Google has stated that over 1.5 million Indians are leveraging free Wi-Fi, consuming 15 times as much data as they normally would on a 3G connection.
In a blog post, Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs for Google India, said:
Last week we rolled out the network at four of India's largest stations - Sealdah, Lucknow Jn, Lucknow and Gorakhpur Jn and we are delighted to share that 1.5 million Indians are now enjoying the high-speed broadband experience across 19 stations.
At this scale, this is India's shining example of a project that is contributing in bridging the digital divide by making high-speed broadband Wi-Fi network more easily accessible to millions of Indians who cross these stations.
While the primary usage is focussed 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.