May 06, 2017 10:22 AM EDT
Facebook is aware that Internet access is hard to come by in certain parts of the globe like India. The Free Basics Initiative failed to gain headway but the social media giant plans to move forward with an initiative called the “Express Wi-Fi.”
The Internet.org project will not involve advanced technology, with reference to loons or drones. Rather, it will be a move involving certain groups in India such as Bharti Airtel and Air Jaldi. The plan is to help local entrepreneur reseller access to the World Wide Web. If all goes accordingly, Digital Trends reports that 20,000 Wi-Fi hot spots should be up and render Internet service for Indian folks who have been aching to get online.
20,000 Wi-Fi hot spots seem to be daunting, seen more than enough to bring the Internet to India. Considering however that they have over 1.3 billion people with only 390 million connected, it could take more than that to deliver proper Internet coverage to the Indian population.
Curiously, Facebook’s hand in this effort comes a bit of a surprise. But according to Facebook Asia Pacific Head of Connectivity Solutions Munish Seth, all they care about is providing service and limit their role to simply providing platforms and solutions. They will not be involved in the cost or pricing, leaving all that to the operator together with the Internet data traffic flow.
In an interview with Tech Crunch, Facebook Product Manager James Beldock adds that the plan is to enable partners to come up with sustainable access which would not be dictated by pricing. To date, there are already 700 hot spots with the additional 20,000 expected to be activated in the coming months.
Hot Spot access will be offered at reasonable rates. The plans will range from around Rs. 10 ($0.15) for 100MB of data to Rs 300 (~$5) for 20 GB of data.
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