Tata Communications soon plans to bring Internet access to as many as 10,000 villages in India. In a bid to provide high-speed Internet connectivity in the villages, the company reportedly plans to install internet facility in mosques and temples.
"Our research shows mosques and temples are the largest congregation points in Indian villages, and thus can easily act as a focal point for connectivity in these places," Julie Woods-Moss, CEO of Tata Communications, was quoted as saying by Hindu BusinessLine.
The aim of the move is to provide high-speed Internet connectivity in rural India. The idea of using mosques and temples as Internet hubs in villages was proposed at Tata's "Shape the Future" programme, which is aimed at crowd-sourcing new ideas from employees.
"The vision of one of the participating teams was to make stable Internet connectivity available to some parts of rural India by leveraging Tata Communications' network reach and strength. While we do not directly operate in the broadband/Wi-Fi space, there is scope to partner with other players who operate in this space and make this vision a reality," said Woods-Moss.
Companies such as Google and Microsoft should work together to achieve the same goal in India, Woods-Moss said. She also said the industry should "pool in" its resources together to build the initiative.
"I challenge my friends at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — why can't we come together with that mindset of digital inclusion?" she said. In the sub-sea cable business, usually four or five players come together to build the infrastructure, which helps get the funding while also ensuring the infrastructure remains intact even if one of the companies shuts down or exits, she said. "We can have a similar collaboration for digital inclusion," Woods-Moss told the Hindu BusinessLine.
Tata Communications is currently assessing new technologies such as "Wireless Mesh" and "White-Fi," but will not apply for any broadband licence to offer the new services, the report added.