Telecom regulator TRAI today mooted a concept of open architecture-based public Wi-Fi grid to bring down the cost of internet by 90 per cent. TRAI Chairman R S Shama presented a report on public Wi-Fi open pilot project to Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha.
The recommendations by TRAI are backed by the findings of pilot project conducted by regulator. The pilot and trials by TRAI were aimed at demonstrating the proof of concept of such an architecture. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that any entity – company, proprietorship or non entities – should easily be able to set up a public Wi-Fi access point.
The mesh or grid proposed by the regulator entails various providers coming together to address aspects like services, access, payment, and authentication. “Broadband proliferation across the country is an important pillar of Digital India. Wi-Fi is the cheapest option given low cost of equipment and free spectrum,” Sharma told reporters.
According to TRAI, the products available for consumption should begin from ‘sachet sized’, that is, low denomination, as low as Rs 2. The latest recommendations follow the BharatNet project being pursued by the central government, that intends to bring Wi-Fi services to village panchayats across the country. Having completed its first phase, the government expects the project to be completed by 2019.