Google has bagged yet another project in the Indian internet ecosystem as it will now be setting up over 200 Wi-Fi hotspots in Pune, Maharashtra, under the smart city initiative undertaken by the state government. The tech giant will be partnering with IBM, L&T and RailTel.
Variable message displays — used to display messages/announcements to citizens — will also be deployed at 161 locations citywide by Google alongwith RailTel and L&T.
Other cities which are in the list of Smart City project in Maharashtra include Mumbai, Nagpur, Amravati, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Thane, Aurangabad, Nashik, Kalyan-Dombivali and Solapur.
India is home to 1.25 billion people, and we’re growing every day in number. The Internet is a key element in our evolution, and this initiative will surely expose people, who already aren’t, to the internet.
Earlier in September 2015, Google, in collaboration with the Indian Railways and RailTel, had announced the project to provide Wi-Fi service in 400 Indian railway stations and has already completed a quarter of the project.
Moving towards a digitised economy, such upgrades will also enable digital literacy to grow as the public will get more used to using internet-enabled services.
Smart city implementation isn’t going to be easy over as many cities because such infrastructure bears huge cost on the government coffers and maintaining it takes its toll on them as well.
Currently, Maharashtra has the highest number of internet subscribers in India at 29.47 million, followed by Tamil Nadu at 28.01 million, Andhra Pradesh at 24.87 million and Karnataka at 22.63 million.