By Paul Sawers
The internet giant first unveiled the Google Station initiative back in September 2015, announcing plans to install high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India. While that program is still well underway, with dozens of Google-backed Wi-Fi hotspots dotted across the country, the company has now partnered with local telecommunication companies FiberStar and CBN to launch the service in four locations in Indonesia too.
With a population of more than 250 million people, Indonesia represents a major market for Google, but with internet penetration of just 50 percent, there remains a huge gap in terms of getting people online and, more importantly for Google, using internet services. Google Station hotspots will be arriving at “hundreds of venues” across Java and Bali over the next year, the company added.
The rollout feeds into Google’s grand plan to target the ‘next billion’ internet users, a program that has seen the company launch products specifically with emerging markets in mind. In India last year, Google launched a new “offline first” YouTube app called YouTube Go, built from the ground up to work where connectivity is patchy. With that in mind, Google has also now revealed that YouTube Go will also be landing in Indonesia soon.
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