Government Tweaks Terms to Speed Up Wi-Fi Roll Out

The Wi-Fi service at Connaught Place in New Delhi is so far the largest such service in the country, which can be availed of by 5,000 people at any point of time, with a speed of 512 kilobytes per second…


government-tweaks-terms-to-Internet service providers with more than Rs 100-crore (Rs 1-billion) annual revenue will now be able to apply for the central Government’s project to set up Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. Recently, the Government had proposed a new policy to speed up the roll out. It plans to set up the facilities in 25 major cities by June 2015 initially. The cities will have Wi-Fi connectivity with a speed of at least 2 megabytes per second. There are more than 30,000 commercial Wi-Fi hotspots in India, and very few public hotspots. Maravedis Rethink Analytics with iPass had, in a recent study predicted that there would be more than two million Wi-Fi hotspots in the country by 2018. There were only 30 municipalities in India with Wi-Fi connectivity, the study noted. About 400 municipalities would set up the facility by 2018. According to the Government proposal, a company that will be empanelled for roll out should have at least one technical support office in the city where it would provide the service, and at least 100 technical persons on its roll.
The company should have experience in the field. A company that will get the contract will have to implement, integrate and commission the citywide Wi-Fi network that would be offered to the Government or the citizens on pay-per-use basis. The firm will have to take care of the maintenance and technical support for five years. In Delhi, for instance, public Wi-Fi service is available at Connaught Place and Khan Market. The Wi-Fi service at Connaught Place is so far the largest such service in the country, which can be availed of by 5,000 people at any point of time, with a speed of 512 kilobytes per second. At present, people can use the service for free for the first 20 minutes (within a 24-hour period). Authentication is done through SMS to the mobile number of the user to ensure security.

– BS

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