Google Offers Free WiFi for India: but will they censor content?


Google has announced that it is to offer free WiFi acrossIndia, in an attempt to promote the use of their social network Google+, andaffiliated sites such as YouTube. There is currently less than 10% Internetpenetration in India, this service will greatly benefit consumers in India. Ofcourse, it will also benefit Google, whose Android phones are in competitionwith other popular smartphones such as the BlackBerryBellagio and the Nokia Lumia.

However, the announcement comes at an interesting time,after Delhi High Court ordered Google India, along with Facebook India, tomoderate their content, or face being blocked. Justice Suresh Kaitsaid “LikeChina, we will block all such websites.”

It has been argued in response to this that Google is notresponsible for third-party content, making it unfeasible for the search engineto really be blocked. Mukul Rohatgi testified that “No human interference ispossible, and moreover, it can’t be feasible to check such incidents. Billionsof people across the globe post their articles on the website. Yes, they may bedematory, obscene, but cannot be checked.”

It seems that Google in India may be safe for now. But howwill they make sure that people access the Google websites, rather thancompetitors? They’re offering the free WiFi on the basisof unlimited usage of Google+, and ten minutes of access to YouTube. Users whowish to access other websites will pay by the minute, limiting access to rivalsites such as Facebook and Yahoo.

Google is offering this service in association with O-ZoneNetworks. O-Zone Networks CEO Sanjeev Sarin said: “This is a first-of-its-kindpromotional tie-up. This association between Google India and O-Zone Networksreinforces the fact that people are now realising the power of Wi-Fi.”

For your information, presently O-Zone network has 5,000Wi-Fi access points across India and these access points includes  McDonalds, Café Oz, Cafe Coffee Day CostaCoffee, Subway, OM Bookshop and Coffee Bean. 

What do you think about Google’s move to provide free WiFiin India, do share your thoughts in comment section below. 

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