Google’s about to provide free Wi-Fi to 400 Indian railway stations

By FIONA MACDONALD  www.sciencealert.com

The daily commute of millions of Indians is about to get far more enjoyable, with Google and Indian Railways partnering to roll out super-fast free Wi-Fi to 400 railway stations across the country.

The plan uses Google Fibre technology, which is currently providing speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps in the US – around 10 times faster than basic Internet. The connection will be slower than that when delivered over Wi-Fi, but according to current reports, the new hotspots will still provide users faster-than-normal Internet for the first 34 minutes before slowing down.

The goal is to help the 20 million or so people that travel by train in India each day access the Internet more seamlessly. For perspective, that’s pretty close to the entire population of Australia that will suddenly have free Internet while travelling to and from work, or to other parts of the country.

Right now there’s some Wi-Fi access in India’s train stations thanks to various Internet providers, but it’s pretty patchy and not consistent across the entire country. The Google project, which has been named Project Nilgiri, is currently in the pilot stage with a few hotspots already established, and the rest being rolled out over the next four months. More info

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