Cabinet approves setting up of public WiFi networks under ‘PM-WANI’

The Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface will be known as PM-WANI, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the setting up of public WiFi networks across the country in a bid to strengthen the public WiFi service. This would be done by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) which will provide public WiFi service through Public Data Offices (PDOs) spread across the country.

With this, the government expects to accelerate the proliferation of broadband internet services through public WiFi networks in the country. There won’t be any license fee for providing broadband internet through these public WiFi networks, the government said in its statement.

The Public WiFi Access Network Interface will be known as PM-WANI, Information Technology (IT) and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while making the announcement, adding that this will promote the growth of public WiFi networks in the country and would unleash a massive WiFi revolution.

“No license, no registration, and no fee would be applicable for the PDOs, which could be small shops or even Common Service Centres,” the minister told reporters.

This would entail a complete framework involving multiple elements — PDO, PDOAs and app providers.

The Cabinet has also approved the laying of undersea submarine optical fibre cable to provide high-speed broadband to Lakshadweep, he said.

— with PTI inputs

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