Rural India to Go WiFi as Facebook-BSNL Joins Hand


New Delhi: Boosting PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ drive social media giant Facebook has come forward to facilitate state-run BSNL in setting up 100 WiFi hot-spots in rural areas of Western and Southern India.

Facebook will spend Rs. 5 crore per annum for sponsoring these 100 WiFi hotspots in the country.

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“Facebook has partnered with us to sponsor 100 WiFi hotspots in villages across west and southern India. They will pay Rs. 5 lakh for BSNL bandwidth for each hotspot per annum,” BSNL Chairman & MD Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.

The hotspots are being set up by BSNL selected vendor Quad Zen.

“We have already set up 25 hotspots under the agreement. Facebook is only sponsoring them and not taking any revenue share. Quad Zen will set up these hotspots and handle sales. There is revenue share model between BSNL and Quad Zen,” Shrivastava said.

When contacted, Facebook spokesperson said, “We don’t have any comments at this point of time.”

The agreement between Facebook and BSNL is for three years and it can be further extended for two more years, he said.

BSNL has also received interest from Member of Parliaments for setting up WiFi hotspots in villages which they have adopted under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) to make it a model village by 2016.