Facebook India on Tuesday announced new partnerships with internet service providers (ISPs) D-Vois and Netplus in a bid to expand affordable internet access for the public. The ISPs will use Facebook Connectivity's Express Wi-Fi platform to launch public Wi-Fi hotspots across Bengaluru and several cities in Punjab.
"From Dharavi in Mumbai to Shillong, Aizawl, Vadodara, Rajkot, and many other towns and cities, the Express Wi-Fi platform is helping expand internet connectivity in the country, enabling economic opportunities, innovation, and expression for people, businesses, and communities alike," said Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India.
Express Wi-Fi is a software platform that enables mobile operators, satellite operators, and ISPs to build, grow, and monetise their Wi-Fi businesses in a sustainable and scalable way. The platform is used by partners in more than 30 countries, connecting millions of people around the world. In India, the platform has already been deployed by eight partners, providing public Wi-Fi options to people across 12 states.
D-VoiS has a presence in 60 cities and operates its broadband services under the brand ION. "ION plans to expand public Wi-Fi to thousands of hotspots at restaurants, bus-stands, malls, cafes, hospitals, and other public spaces," said Ramesh Sathyanarayana, Founder, D-vois Communications.
Netplus Broadband, the internet arm of Fastway Group, is another leading ISP in the country. "The Express Wi-Fi services will be available at several high footfall public areas such as malls, hospitals, bus stands, and market complexes across the cities of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandar, Patiala, and Bhatinda," informed Prem Ojha, Fastway Group CEO.
During the current COVID-19 crisis in India, Facebook also leveraged the Express Wi-Fi partner networks to share COVID-related information from credible sources with micro communities and towns across the country.