State owned telco BSNL will install around 10,000 WiFi hotspots at government schools in Kerala at both lower and upper primary levels under Kerala government’s “The IT@School Project”, reports IANS. The WiFi project claims to provide speeds up to 2 mbps per hotspot. Schools will have pay a subsidized package amount of Rs 5,000 per year for the WiFi service; the project will go live by November 1.

In addition to WiFi, the IT@School Project will provide a comprehensive software on IT training and other aggregated digital training content to students at the primary level. The project also claims to have deployed broadband Internet connection at 5,000 high schools, higher secondary schools and other educational institutions in Kerala, added the report.

Last month, the Tamil Nadu government in a similar project said that it will offer free WiFi facilities in public spaces and internet in schools. The WiFi, called Amma WiFi Zone, would be installed in 50 locations along with providing an initial 50 schools with free internet facilities

Other PSU/state Public WiFi projects

State owned telcos BSNL and MTNL signed a deal this month with Union Tourism Ministry to equip 100 tourist destinations across the country with high speed public WiFi hotspots. The deal period is for 7 years, and the Tourism Ministry will bear the operational costs for the first 3 years.

BSNL WiFi hotspots: BSNL has been separately installing its own WiFi in various locations, including tourist destinations. In May, the telecom operator reported that it had has already installed 2,505 WiFi across 1,227 locations.

State of public WiFi in India: India has only 31,518 public WiFi hotspots, as compared to over 47 million globally, and the TRAI believes that to have one hotspot for every 150 people, we need 800,000 hotspots. Some public WiFi initiatives by Govt agencies in India include, Delhi Government’s plan to install 1000 hotspots in 571 locations, and RailTel & Google’s WiFi initiative to provide free WiFi service on railway stations, which recently crossed 300,000 users per week.