Google started a 2015 project to bring public Wi-Fi to Indian Railways in partnership with the Indian government. The project was retroactively spun off as Google Station and was done in partnership with the firm Indian Railways and Railtel. Now the firm has just reached 400 such train stations in India. The Dibrugarh railway station in Assam state, northeast India is the most recent station which is now powered by the Google Station project.
Google says that there are 8 million users who use the service every month, with an average of 350MB of data being consumed. While some use this data for chatting on apps like WhatsApp or Hike Messenger others stream YouTube videos or exchange video chats.
Google's original target was 400 train stations, and the firm has accomplished that goal, it will now be going a little further and bringing the Google Station service to other (non-train station) areas in the country. It's already available in 150 areas in the Pune region for example. Google plans to bring more Indians online and expose the next billion to the internet for work, commerce and play.
The firm isn't stopping in just India, it has already brought Google Station to Indonesia and Mexico, and more locations are reportedly in the works.
"Our journey in India has shown us the tremendous potential of public Wi-Fi programs in creating opportunities, and we believe that the benefits of getting people online can and must be replicated beyond borders." Google's Caesar Sengupta, VP of the Next Billion Users Team explained.
For Google, it seems, India was just the first step.