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Tamil Nadu to set up free internet in schools & public WiFi zones


The Tamil Nadu government will offer free WiFi facilities in public spaces and internet in schools, establish entrepreneur development centres and create e-commerce infrastructure, reports the Hindu BusinessLine.

The WiFi, called Amma WiFi Zone, will be installed in 50 locations along with providing an initial 50 schools with free internet facilities. A 50 seat entrepreneurship development centre will also be set up in Coimbatore in a facility at Tidel Park, with more such facilities planned in tier 2 cities. Nasscom is the ‘knowledge partner’ for the centre.

Other than this, a 2 lakh sqft IT building will be constructed at the cost of Rs 80 crore at Elcot SEZ in Sholinganallur, in Chennai to encourage ecommerce. The Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency will also set up 650 permanent registration centers for Aadhaar cards. Smartphone users will also be able to access government services through yet-to-be-launched Assured Multi-Modal Access to e-Services app (AMMA e-Services). Note that no timeline has been provided for the launch and execution of these initiatives.

Arasu Fiber: In March, the TN Government had launched Arasu Fibre, an initiative to provide Internet services to all households through the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV). It’s not clear if the same service will be used to provide internet in schools, but it seems the most likely. Note that the Tamil Nadu Government had said it would provide internet services through Arasu Cable in September last year.

Startup warehouse: In the same month, the Tamil Nadu Government and IT industry lobby group Nasscom set up a startup warehouse in Chennai, the first in the state. The warehouse is located on a 8000 sq.ft plot, and can house up to 50 startups at a time. Startups housed here would be provided with networking sessions, early state mentoring, access to resources from Google, Amazon, IBM Cloud, Microsoft, Kotak etc.

Image Credit: Sébastien Bertrand under the CC BY 2.0 license

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