Facebook has started testing an Express WiFi service to provide internet to rural parts of India.
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(CCM) — As a part of its larger Internet.org mission, Facebook is testing a new internet infrastructure called Express WiFi to provide affordable internet in towns and rural areas in India. The company has been working with BSNL, a state-run telecom service provider, for over a year and is looking for more internet service providers and mobile operators to join the initiative. Facebook has yet to reveal the primary testing areas, but the project has been expanded to over 100 villages with the help of local entrepreneurs who have been providing business solutions as well as technological and marketing resources. Users can buy the internet pack for just 10 rupees (roughly $0.14 USD), which will be available in the form of rechargeable cards.
Unlike its controversial Free Basics program, this new initiative allows users to access any website that they want, which will be especially beneficial to the 60% of Indians who are still offline. The company has also been testing the same program in other developing and under-developed countries in the world. Earlier reports claimed that the company planned to bring connectivity to train station, but Google has already locked up that domain in India.
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