Facebook-BSNL partnership brings free internet access to remote regions of India
Facebook is aiming to bring internet to every possible living person in this world, and in this quest is working at the very grass root level to make things happen. In their latest vision to bring free internet to the remote villages of India, Facebook has partnered with local telecom provider BSNL to sponsor 100 Wi-Fi hotspots in the Western and South regions of India to start with. This contract between Facebook and BSNL will run for 3 years and based on the success another 2 year extension is on the cards. This project also coincides perfectly with the Indian government’s ‘Digital India’ drive which is good news for Indian IT industry.
BSNL has further signed a contract with selected vendor Quad Zen who have agreed to handle the sales and setting-up of Wi-Fi hotspots in a revenue sharing model. Facebook is not going to take any revenue share and good news is that already 25 hotspots have been set with 75 more to go in the coming months. To strengthen the move, BSNL has already received interest from Member of Parliaments to set-up Wi-Fi hotspots under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
Facebook is going to sponsor half-a-million annually for this drive that includes setting-up of 100 Wi-Fi hotspots for providing free internet access to the locals. BSNL is going to take things further as they have plans to set-up 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots in addition to the ones sponsored by Facebook. For this they are working in close quarters with Quad Zen to work in the West and Southern regions while they are going to partner with Trimax to set up 500 hotspots in Northern regions.