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Fact Check: Did Google shut down free public Wi-Fi at Railway stations in India?

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Summary

Google was a technology partner for internet provisions until 2020 and the contract for the same expires in May 2020. This does not mean that Wi-Fi will not be available in these railway stations.

ABP recently published an article stating that Google is shutting down free public Wi-Fi in railway stations in India. Their article extensively gives reasons as to why Google has planned to slowly shut down the free Wi-Fi in 400 stations.

The article talks about Google’s 2015 startup initiative in India which aimed at bringing Wi-Fi to 400 railway stations in India. The article further talks about how Google has decided to shut the services down, mainly because of the improving and affordable mobile data plans in India. Moreover, they have also interviewed Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users, Google, who spoke about the work they have done, progress and reasons to shut down the Wi-Fi services.

Fact Check

The article and the tweet are misleading. 

The news of this shutdown was conveyed in a negative manner, whereas that is not the case. A clarification was tweeted out by RailTel, the company that has been providing the Wi-Fi services along with Google. They tweeted out saying, 

Thus, the tweet clarifies that Google was a technology partner for internet provisions until 2020 and the contract for the same expires in May 2020. This does not mean that Wi-Fi will not be available in these railway stations, just that Google will not be providing them due to the expiry of the contract. RailTel also promised Wi-Fi services even after May 2020.

In conclusion, the article published by ABP News portrays the simple situation of contract expiry as a shutdown. Moreover, the tweet published by them is misleading as well. 

Note: You can reach out to us at facthunt.in[at]gmail dot com if you find any issue with our articles.

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