After bringing high-speed Internet access to hundreds of railway stations in the country, Google India on Wednesday expanded its Google Station programme for the "first time outside of the railways" by bringing 150 Wi-Fi hotspots to Pune. The new move is a part of Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited's Smart City project that will potentially enable over three million Punekars to get online. The search giant has partnered with Mumbai-headquartered Larsen & Toubro to offer fast Wi-Fi connectivity in the city.
Pune is certainly a new beginning for Google Station. However, a source had told Gadgets 360 that the Google would bring high-speed Internet access to various smart cities in the country over time.
Google Station hotspots will be available at various public places across Pune, including gardens, hospitals, and police stations, to help people in the city access free Wi-Fi. These hotspots will also make smartphone users connected to various Google services and provide improved tracking of public buses, opportunities for digital learning, and participation in digital governance.
"Our aim with Google Station is to bring fast Wi-Fi to more users in more places within India. We built Google Station to be both the highest-quality and easiest Wi-Fi service for users and the easiest for partners to deploy - and we think this makes Station a great connectivity partner for the growing number of Indian smart cities. We're looking forward to helping people in Pune get fast, simple and secure access to everything the internet has to offer," said Vinay Goel, Product Management Director, Google Station, in a press release.
Through the original partnership with government's RailTel Corporation under the RailTel Wi-Fi project, Google Station has served more than 7.7 million users at over 270 railway stations in the country. Google's Next Billion Users (NBU) Vice President Caesar Sengupta at Google for India event last month stated that the company was on track to connect as many as 400 stations next year, which was originally planned late last year.