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14 Jul 2017

TRAI shares draft design for public Wi-Fi network project

TRAI wants affordable Internet for all

The draft design of public Wi-Fi network project has been released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Under this proposed system, any individual with a valid permanent account number (PAN) will be allowed to set up public data offices (PDOs) to provide public Wi-Fi hotspots.

This is aimed at providing low-cost wireless Internet service solutions to the mass. Here's all about it.

In context

TRAI wants affordable Internet for all
What's the game plan?


What's the game plan?

Under this project, PDOs, like the public call offices (PCOs) of yesteryears, will be created via open network design.

The regulator proposed that a central registry should be created, which will work under the department of telecommunications (DoT) or TRAI.

It can also be managed by an independent entity, which would be approved by either of the agencies and will contain information on PDOs.


Happy with the response received

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) mentioned earlier that its goal was to provide the Internet via its 'pay-as-you-go' PDOs at a rate, which would be way below than that of prevalent mobile networks'.

It stated that several start-ups have shown interest in being a part of its ambitious open architecture-based Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) project.

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Not competing with telecom majors


Not competing with telecom majors

Under it proposal, TRAI said that users would be able to carry out one-click authentication and payment, and will have the freedom to connect one or more devices in the same session.

This Public Open Wi-Fi Framework is not being created to compete with prevalent technologies, instead, it should "hold an important place in the last mile delivery of broadband to users," said TRAI.


Small scale entrepreneurship ventures

This project will have an "unbundling authentication, payment and accounting (elements) from the hardware and software running on Wi-Fi access point."

The project scenario should ideally allow small entrepreneurs, such as tea shops or neighborhood kirana stores, to set up and maintain Wi-Fi access points. Bigwigs can provide the support needed for doing so.

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