Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook had visited India last October to meet Sri Narendra Modi. The agenda for the meeting was how Facebook’s Internet.org could integrate with Modi’s Digital Plan and provide Internet to the rural areas. There are many obstacles to Modi’s Digital Plan but one major problem is the lack of infrastructure to ensure this connectivity smoothly.
A news which followed it claimed that Microsoft has come up with a solution to reduce the costs of the infrastructure required for connectivity. It proposed the use of “White Space” between two TV channels to provide free internet connectivity. It plans to provide free last mile connectivity. Last mile connectivity refers to the final leg of the telecommunications network, the part that actually reaches the customer. The connectivity could be provided of the already established TV network, which will eliminate the need to invest heavily in the set-up of new infrastructures.
And now it’s the technology giant, Google who has shown interest in India’s Digital Plan after Facebook and Microsoft. The company’s Chief Internet Evangelist, Mr. Vinton Cerf met the Minister of Comm. and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss how Google can contribute to the vision withheld by the new government.
There were no such concrete ideas disclosed but Mr. Cerf said that Google is keenly interested in providing help to the Digital India Project through some of their ideas. Does Google wants to integrate their Project Loon? Or is there something cooking in Google X which isn’t unveiled yet?
Mr. Cerf appreciated the government’s plan and believes it is a well laid out plan. Now, only execution is the place where the government needs to prove itself. He further said, “The passion is clearly there, the energy is clearly there”. His words reflected his belief in the Digital India plan which is 1.13 lakh crore government initiative. Apart from discussing on how Google can help the overall plan, the two discussed the never-like-before increasing adaptation to Internet in the country and also ways to bring women online as well as helping small and large businesses through the online medium.