Mumbai, Jan 10: The government plans to reach up to 50 crore internet subscribers in next 6–7 months, besides installing 2,500 Wi–Fi hotspots at 256 places by the next fiscal, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Sunday. “Today mobile penetration is 100 crore, while internet penetration is 40 crore. It took more than 3–4 years to become from 20 to 30 crore. It took less than a year to become from 30 to 40 crore and I have fixed a target of 50 crore,” Prasad said at the launch of the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) free public Wi–Fi service started in partnership with Tata Docomo. “God willing, we will cross 50 crore in coming 6–7 months,” he said.
The minister said the state–run BSNL aims to install 2,500 Wi–Fi hotspots at 256 places by the next fiscal. The Digital India programme includes projects which aim to ensure that the government services are available to citizens electronically and people benefit from information and communication technology. “Digital India will transform the country, and it is more for people like chaiwallas and paanwallas so that they can enhance their skills,” Prasad said. He also announced that the BSE, which is Asia’s oldest stock exchange with 3 crore registered investors, would get its own postage stamp. “In acceding to your (BSE) request to have postal stamp, I am feeling happy as it is the official recognition of the work you are doing,” he said. “Launched Free Public WiFi at @BSEIndia Mumbai,” Prasad tweeted later. (IANS)