Google said on Monday that it is winding down its Station program, through which it rolled out free Wi-Fi in more than 400 railway stations in India and in several other public places around the globe.

Caesar Sengupta, VP of Payments and Next Billion Users at Google, said the program, launched in 2015, helped millions of users connect to the internet everyday — many for the first time. But as mobile data prices become affordable in many markets, Google Station was no longer as necessary.

Sengupta said it had also become difficult for Google to scale Station program. “The challenge of varying technical requirements and infrastructure among our partners across countries has also made it difficult for Station to scale and be sustainable, especially for our partners. And when we evaluate where we can truly make an impact in the future, we see greater need and bigger opportunities in making building products and features tailored to work better for the next billion user markets,” he said.

The company will be winding down Station globally this year. “We are working with our partners to transition existing sites so they can remain useful resources for the community,” said Gupta.

More to follow…



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