DMPQ-Describe the major components of PM WANI scheme. Also mention it’s significance.

The PM-WANI scheme, announced by the Department of Telecommunications last month, aims to increase internet connectivity across the country by implementing a decentralised system of public access points. We decided to create an explainer analysing the scheme in which we discuss how, while a step towards the right direction, the scheme faces both foundational and implementational challenges.

PM WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) is a scheme meant to increase Wi-fi access throughout the country. The WANI framework contains the following components:

  • Public Data Office (PDO): It will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.
  • Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA): It will be an aggregator of PDOs and perform the functions relating to Authorization and Accounting.
  • App Provider: It will develop an App to register users and discover WANI compliant Wi-Fi hotspots in the nearby area and display the same within the App for accessing the internet service.
  • Central Registry: It will maintain the details of App Providers, PDOA.

It is contemplated that the proliferation of public Wi-Fi networks throughout the country will greatly increase internet access at cheap prices. Increased Wi-Fi access will bring with an improved quality of life, especially in an increasingly digital economy. The deregulated operating requirement is meant to help improve the ease of doing business, and thus potentially provide both employment opportunities and increased disposable income. Furthermore, the decentralised nature of the WANI ecosystem is meant to address last mile connectivity and allow access points to grow organically in places that need them the most.

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