There are over 400 million internet users in India. Prime Minster Narendra Modi is actively moving to get the other billion citizens online.
Modi’s government is working to bring affordable, high-speed internet to 150,000 villages throughout India, finance minister Arun Jaitle said on Monday, according to Mashable India.
The key word there is “affordable,” with the average Indian wage estimated to be around $4 in 2014. Jaitle says the country will spend 100 billion rupees, around $1.4 billion, on the project. That’s not all either, as days ago the government outlined a plan to bring free Wi-Fi to over 1,000 villages throughout the country, according to CNN.
Many have tried to help the billion or so Indians who are not yet connected. Facebook tried to bring its Free Basics program to the country, which provides free connectivity to a selected suite of apps and sites, but the Indian government blocked that after claiming it violates net neutrality. The company is taking another shot, attempting to provide cheap Wi-Fi to the masses.
Google is also helping out, partnering with local carriers to set up free Wi-Fi at train stations. Thus far, this has enabled some questionable internet habits.
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