Broadband kiosks are popping up all over rural India. Hughes has been working with both state and central governments to create information kiosks that can give people access to a variety of online services. As part of this initiative, Hughes is setting up 1,000 rural information communication and technology (ICT) kiosks in India over the next three years, primarily focusing on providing education, teaching aides, and rural banking.
The kiosks, called HughesNet Fusion centers, are operated on a franchisee model, offering budding entrepreneurs across the rural landscape the use of technology for e-commerce, education, and e-governance. Leveraging its satellite broadband platform, Hughes is providing the most remote areas of India various broadband services including Internet access, prepaid top-ups, international voice service, and education services through the HughesNet Fusion centers.
In addition, a program based on a collaboration between Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd and Hughes Communications Ltd India is providing 5,000 broadband-enabled ICT kiosks in 200 small towns and rural regions, enabling people to access the Internet on a fee-for-service basis to conduct such tasks as sending email, paying bills, and shopping online.
“This partnership delivers a variety of digital services nationwide, empowers people, and affects the way people live, work, and communicate,” said Pranav Roach, president and CEO, Hughes Network Systems India. “The kiosks are not only providing a platform for the exchange of information and knowledge, but are also serving as a launching pad for the creation of over 15,000 jobs and self-employment opportunities.”
Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Tarun Malik, Head, Rural Computing, Microsoft, said, “This is a reiteration of our efforts to forge successful partnerships to create a highly-sustainable and scalable ecosystem. Together we aim to drive technology access at the grass-roots level to enable the socioeconomic development of rural communities.”