Public Data Offices(PDO) coming to a place near you

PCOs will be replaced by PDOs, if DoT allows the proposal from TRAI.


The introduction of mobile phones and cheap calls abolished the concept of PCOs; but now, a new, reformed model is being proposed, which will offer Internet instead of calls via such PCOs.

Technically, this is called data resale, and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has strongly recommended this model for the push of public WiFi, across India subject to approval from Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Last year, TRAI had recommended the concept of data resale in India – entities can be allowed to resale data in the form of WiFi packs. They can establish a hotspot, which will provide high-speed broadband Internet via WiFi to anyone with a mobile phone or laptop. WiFi packs can be devised, based on 30 minutes or an hour’s validity. ISPs can provide the data network to such entities, which can resell the data in small packs, meant only for WiFi usage. TRAI calls them Public Data Offices (PDOs), and it will massively push the usage of WiFis across India.

The proposals were sent to DoT by TRAI last year after a consultation paper was launched, and viewpoints of the general public were sought.

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As per TRAI Chairman, the idea and the concept proved to be a great hit, as 96.3% of the respondents felt that the concept will work. And 3% suggested even more interesting ideas to make the system robust.

As per TRAI, there are around 35,000 WiFi spots in India, and the majority of them are around airports, malls and commercial establishment.

Creation of PDOs will make the access even more uniform, and can WiFis can seep into deep rural hinterland as well.

Now let’s hope DoT accepts the proposal from TRAI and allows Data Resale points across India.


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