The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), in partnership with a private telecom service provider, on Sunday introduced what they claim to be is India’s largest free public Wi-Fi network at Connaught Place (CP).
Officials claim that once the free usage of 20 minutes is exhausted, users can continue by paying nominal charges. The present Wi-Fi hotspot will cover a distance of 4.5 square kilometers around CP which is one of the largest commercial and business centers in the city.
Extra usage time will be made available for purchase online or through recharge cards available at nearby stores, restaurants and NDMC subways. Users will have to disclose their email addresses and mobile numbers to gain access to the internet.
The recharge cards are available at Rs 10 for 30 minutes, Rs 20 for an hour and Rs 50 for 180 minutes of Wi-Fi access.
“The Wi-Fi hotspot service will be applicable in the inner and outer circle of Connaught Place, including Central Park. It is the largest Wi-Fi service ever in India. At a time, the service can be availed by 5000 people with the speed of 512 Kbps,” said Jalaj Shrivastava, chairperson, NDMC.
Appreciating the move New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi said that this is the first step towards achieving PM Modi’s Digital India.
“We will try to extend the services and try to make the entire stretch from Connaught Place to IGI Airport completely WiFi. The area is dense and is used by many people, it is aimed at empowering them with connectivity and information,” said Lekhi.
The council claims that they aim to make the entire NDMC area WiFi by March 31, 2016.
The project would have started earlier but was delayed because the technical team made a mess of the area with wires and had to re-plan keeping the beauty and heritage of the market in mind.
“Our main challenge was to ensure high speed Internet connectivity in the large area. But we also made sure not to hamper the architecture. Cables were laid underground but we also had to take care of the metro lines,” said Avinash Gabriel, COO, Wi-Fi Business, Tata.