Digital India: Facebook and BSNL come together to set up 100 Wi-Fi hotspots in rural India

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Boosting the government’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ drive, social media giant Facebook has come forward to facilitate state-run BSNL in setting up 100 Wi-Fi sites in rural areas of western and southern India.

Facebook is investing Rs 5 crore per annum for buying bandwidth from BSNL in this joint initiative that also includes IT infrastructure services providers such as Quad Zen and Trimax for equipment and fibre deployment, BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastavasaid.

The project will be rolled out in 100 villages that Facebook has selected by 31st December 2015. First half hour of internet will be free and then it will be charged. Each Hotspot will have a capacity of 2000 connections at any given point of time.

Shrivastavasaid, “We have already set up 25 hotspots under the agreement. Facebook is only sponsoring them and not taking any revenue share. Quad Zen will set up these hotspots and handle sales. There is revenue share model between BSNL and Quad Zen”.

The agreement between Facebook and BSNL is for three years and it can be further extended for two more years, Srivastava said.

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