According to the Union Railway Minister, the technology of satellite communication was capital intensive with recurring costs in the form of bandwidth charges and thus, the facility was not cost effective.
No fast and free internet facility inside trains! Indian Railways has dropped its plan to provide free Wi-Fi based internet inside trains as it was not cost effective. Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, has said as a pilot project, internet service was provided in Indian Railways’ Howrah Rajdhani Express train through satellite communication technology, a PTI report said. According to the Union Railway Minister, the technology of satellite communication was capital intensive with recurring costs in the form of bandwidth charges and thus, the facility was not cost effective.
Also, the availability of internet bandwidth to train passengers was inadequate, the minister said. Hence, the national transporter has dropped the project. Currently, for the provision of Wi-Fi based internet services in trains, suitable cost effective technology is unavailable, the Railway Minister added.
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According to the report, former Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier mentioned in 2019 that in the next four to four-and-a-half years, the central government is planning to provide Wi-Fi services in trains across the Indian Railways network. At present, the facility of fast and free internet is being provided by the national transporter at more than 6,000 railway stations across the country on a self-sustainable basis with no cost to Indian Railways. The facility of high-speed Wi-Fi is being provided at stations with the help of RailTel, a public sector undertaking under the Railway Ministry, the report added.
Meanwhile, the minister has also informed the Parliament that works have been approved for the provision of Video Surveillance System at all railway stations except halt railway stations. So far, 814 stations have been equipped with CCTVs. Also, works for the installation of CCTVs in all coaches including EMUs as well as passenger trains have been approved. Till now, CCTVs have already been provided in as many as 4,141 coaches, he said.