Call it a mere coincidence or fierce competition, but now Facebook reportedly planning to offer WiFi services in Indian Railway stations just like Google.
“Facebook India has approached us for the WiFi initiative. We will engage with the company for the expansion of our Internet access programme across railways stations to cover villages in the vicinity,” ET quoted RK Bahuguna, chairman of Indian Railways’ communications arm RailTel as saying.
Facebook is also reportedly planning to offer WiFi services across India under project Express WiFi about which we reported sometime back. Facebook has reportedly acquired bandwidth from BSNL for Express WiFi service under which it is planning to provide high speed internet across the country. While company’s infamous initiative ‘Free Basics’ received a lot of criticism for undermining net neutrality, the new initiative might bring it some goodwill and perhaps more users.
On the other hand, Google joined hands with RailTel last year to roll out public WiFi services in railway stations across India. Google is planning to cover 100 stations by the end of this year that is estimated to cover 10 million Indians. The project will be eventually rolled out to cover 400 train stations across India.
Recent report suggested that around 2 million people are accessing Google’s free WiFi service.