On Thursday, India will be the first country in the world to offer free internet to citizens for the month of May, the country’s telecom regulator announced.
In a bid to tackle the lack of broadband access in many areas of the country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced that it will be providing broadband internet access to citizens from June 1, the date the country officially enters a national blackout.
The telco regulator said that this would be followed by free Wi-Fi access for a period of three months for people from those areas that do not have it.
The telcos have also offered free wi-fi access for three months to anyone with an internet connection of more than 10Mbps to all the people in the country.
TRAIs statement comes as the country faces an unprecedented power shortage of about 10% of the population due to an unprecedented cyber attack on the country last month.
In the wake of the attack, about 6,500 homes and businesses in the central and eastern parts of the Indian state of Maharashtra, were hit.
There have been calls from the government for internet access for citizens, who are struggling to access services like social media and other digital content, to be extended to more rural areas.