New Delhi: Ellenabad railway station in Bikaner division of north western railways became the 3000th station in the country to have public Wi-Fi. The number of Wi-Fi equipped railway stations in India reached 3,010 on Sunday evening after 56 more stations were connected to the free internet services by Railways.
“Number of Wi-Fi equipped railway stations has breached the unprecedented 3,000 mark as another 56 stations were connected on Sunday. Free Wi-Fi is helping passengers stay connected to their loved ones even while traveling,” Union railways minister Piyush Goyal tweeted on Monday.
Free Wi-Fi services to passengers are being pr-ovided under RailWire, a retail broadband initiative of RailTel. RailTel is a PSU under the railway ministry.
“With the vision of turning railway stations into a platform for digital inclusion RailTel started providing free public Wi-Fi service at stations. In the first phase the Wi-Fi was made live at 1,600 stations across country. RailTel has now roped in Tata Trust for providing Wi-Fi at remaining stations across the country… 1000 stations across India have been enabled with Wi-Fi in mere 15 days time,” said Puneet Chawla, CMD of RailTel.
With a larger population of the country getting hooked to the internet, the government had decided to provide free Wi-Fi to all big and small railway stations. Officials said that special care has been taken to ensure internet access to several rural and low population density areas.
In May 2019, the total user logins were 2.35 crore in1,600 stations across India and total unique users for the Wi-Fi were 1.19 crore consuming 8781.30 TB data. It was also noticed that stations in Tier 1 cities like Kolkata, Delhi Mumbai registered a greater number of user logins and data consumption than their tier 2 counterparts. Howrah station alone saw 4.9 lakh user logins in one month.
With estimated 20,000 users everyday being the first time users of the internet, there are several heart-warming stories of how the station Wi-Fi helped transform lives. These include the success story of a railway porter who cleared Kerala Public Service Commission examination studying at railway station using Wi-Fi.