Google is keen to launch its optical fiber-based broadband services in India as part of the Digital India programme. The internet giant plans to roll out a fiber network in a small area as a showcase project.
According to reports Google is in talks with the top officials in the IT Ministry regarding the project. One of the key issues being discussed is whether the internet giant can do the project without having to acquire a telecom license. Internet penetration is key for Google if it wants to reach the next billion consumers.
A Google India spokesperson did not comment specifically on the fiber project but stated that the company continuously engages the center on various projects. However, IT Ministry officials said that some experts from Google’s US operation are expected in India to evaluate the project.
An official stated, “We are keen to partner a company like Google in furthering the Digital India plan. Modalities have to be worked out.”
Google has rolled a similar programme in the US called Google Fiber where it provides broadband internet and television to a small area. The project was initially launched in Kansas City and in February 2014, Google announced that it will expand the service to 34 other cities in the US.
Google had stated in a blog post at the launch of the Google Fiber in 2012: “Our internet is 100 times faster. Our TV has hundreds of channels in crystal clear HD. And we’re offering quality service plans that are affordable.”
Internet giant Google and Facebook have been experimenting with balloons and solar-powered drones to address the need for cost-effective internet connectivity. The company's strategy works well with the Indian Government’s agenda of taking internet and digital technologies to the masses with its Digital India project.