The Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeITY) launched 5000 Wi-Fi Choupals in villages in partnership with common service centres (CSCs). It was jointly inaugurated by Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.
The aim of Wi-Fi Choupals is to transform rural Internet connectivity through BharatNet. They focuses on developing rural Wi-Fi infrastructure and to host suitable applications to provide various ICT services at an affordable cost. They will provide 60,000 WiFi hotspots in rural areas enabling people effective Internet access for their various digital processes. Wi-Fi Choupals are in addition to broadband connectivity provided gram panchyats through optical fibre network under BharatNet.
BharatNet is Centre’s rural internet connectivity programme which is implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). It is world’s largest rural broadband connectivity programme using Optical fibre. It seeks to connect all of India’s households, particularly the rural areas, through demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps to realise vision of Digital India. The project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF).