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Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Local entrepreneurs who partner with RailTel for its last mile connectivity are known as Access Network Providers (ANPs). They are local cable operators who are RailWire’s last mile service-delivery-partners and own up to 50% of revenue share. This opportunity is available for local businesses in villages, taluks, village-panchayats, urban and semi-urban districts and cities, alike.

“As we penetrate deeper and wider in to the country, we have a huge requirement for local partners to come forward and partner with us, helping us take RailWire FTTH to every Indian household”, says Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel – a mini-ratna PSU under Ministry of Railways.

Currently, penetration of wired broadband in India is very low compared to wireless. However, the sudden surge in internet usage, during and post pandemic, has expedited RailWire’s outreach plans and RailTel is inviting new MSPs and ANPs to partner with the brand as it continues to take high-speed Fiber to the Home (FTTH) broadband internet service to the remotest part of the country.

“The growing market presents a lucrative opportunity for local entrepreneurs to partner with RailWire as Access Network Providers (ANPs) and MSPs. RailWire with its pan India optic fiber network on exclusive Right of Way (ROW) along railway tracks has the potential to narrow the unemployment chasm as it forges ahead in the untapped, yet competitive wired broadband market in India,” says CMD, RailTel.

"India’s untapped wired broadband market is an employment opportunity with RailWire high-speed fiber optic broadband" Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel.

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Updated: Oct 20, 2021

RailTel's Director of Network Planning and Marketing, Sanjai Kumar says a focused approach will catalyse the ongoing development of RailTel's community lead broadband internet service - RailWire. He spoke about three specific areas of focus in particular:

Network planning: This means fine-tuning, and up-gradation of network operations that cater to RailWire's increasing subscriber base and the subsequent increase in data utilisation. This will ensure subscribers, even in rural areas, will enjoy better availability and higher speeds from their RailWire connections.

Presence: RailTel has installed RailWire connectivity in 6,000 out of the total 7,000 railway stations across the country. Notably, 80% of those stations are in rural areas and that opens a large door of opportunity to provide broadband connections to the surrounding villages. He added that, as a part of Bharat Net project that aims to connect 6 lakh villages in 1,000 days, RailTel has requested permission from Government of India to start a pilot project in Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The approval for Jharkhand alone would connect 30,000 villages!

Sanjai Kumar asserted that, by 2022, RailWire plans reaching a total figure of 10 lakh subscribers pan India.

MSPs: Appointing MSPs in all the states across India, RailTel is at the forefront of enabling RailWire as a brand. Additionally, he sent these appealing message to:

Subscribers: "We assure you that RailTel is willing to learn from the past to improve the future. We also reassure you that RailWire aims to smoothen our backhaul issues and will continue to provide high quality bandwidth."

ANPs: "You are our partners and a very important part of our ecosystem. We assure you that you will grow with us and together, we will set a model for others to follow."

With a fresh viability gap funding of INR 19,041 crores covering 16 states announced for Bharat Net Project this month by the Government, he added,

"Our ability to further innovate on more efficient and effective PPP models will be key in reaching our network to the Gram Panchayat, Village Council and Village level as we penetrate deeper in the market geographically, making high speed broadband available to more Indians."

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Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Puneet Chawla, RailTel CMD
Helping Build an Inclusive Knowledge Economy in India

The pandemic year of 2020-21 changed education forever and as a response to the significant demand in online education, RailWire, RailTel’s high-speed Fiber to the Home (FTTH) broadband internet service in partnership with 5000+ communities in India, recently proposed ‘smart classes’ for rural schools run by Government.

“Education system in rural India is more complex that the urban cities and requires more attention. With the schools shut for more than a year, we have pitched a ‘smart classes’ proposal to the Ministry of Education to impact around 3.5 lakh students who are enrolled in schools run by the Central government predominantly for meritorious students in rural India,” shared Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, a min-ratna PSU under Ministry of Railways.

“To enable rural India’s transition into an e-learning education system, it requires large investments in infrastructure of optical-fiber cables and towers for uninterrupted transmission of online classes. RailWire’s Optical Fiber cable network running along railway tracks allow us provide connectivity to the remotest parts of the country,” adds Puneet Chawla.

In a globally emerging knowledge-based economy, our ability in creating digital infrastructure that helps in transfer of knowledge and data inclusively to a larger percentage of our population is critical - Puneet Chawla, CMD RailTel

Chawla added, “We are identifying areas least served and continuously trying to penetrate these areas by overcoming associated challenges through smart and innovative business modelling, north-east of India being the latest entrant in our expansion plans.”

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