The Indian Railways has released a list of 71 railways stations in India with free Wifi provided by Google and Railwire, and said the facility will be extended to 709 stations in about three years from now.
In addition, several suburban stations in Mumbai — such as Kulra, Byculla, Belapur and Panvel — also enjoy this facility at present.
Under the free Wifi program, anyone with a mobile phone can use the high-speed facility free of charge for the first 30 minutes.
The facility is available in most of the big stations in India at present and is slated to hit the century mark early next year.
The states in which free wifi is available in railway stations include Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Punjab. It is also available in Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Telengana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
The full list of the stations with the facility is attached at the bottom of this article. The list of locations where this will be set up in the future is here.
In June this year, Google said the total number of users on its free Wifi service had reached 1.5 mln (per day?).
“We saw 100,000 users connect to the network within a week of launch at Mumbai Central and as we started rolling out the network at more stations,” it said, adding that there has been a phenomenal jump in usage.
Railway stations are among the least favorite places for people to spend their time at in India as they are often congested and dirty and lack proper seats and bathrooms.
Nevertheless, millions of Indians end up waiting at railway stations for half an hour or more every month due to various reasons, including late arrival of trains.
Google found that overall rates of consumption at railway stations in smaller cities are higher than those in bigger cities. Average consumption per user comes to well over 100 Mbs per day.
The service is provided by the search giant in association with Railwire, which provides broadband connectivity to far-flung places with its extensive network of fiber optic cable laid alongside India’s railway tracks.