Ahead of the civic body elections, the Maharashtra government on Monday launched its project of making Mumbai India’s first WiFi city. The state government launched 500 WiFi hotspots across the city as part of phase one of the project. The service will be free until the end of this month, according to government officials.
On the first day, we tried to check the quality of the WiFi service. At the high court, we found the WiFi service was not working properly in the first attempt. After selecting the service, it took 5-7 minutes to connect, with a message saying — obtaining IP address — then it got disconnected automatically.
In the second attempt, it got connected without an OTP ( one-time password), breaching an important security level introduced by the government to make the service safe and secure.
Sandesh Tiwari, a resident of Worli, said, “The WiFi service was easily connected at two places — Flora Fountain and Mantralaya. The service was at a decent speed. I saw a video on YouTube, which was also downloaded very fast,” Sandesh told HT.
However, Khalid Shaikh, a resident of Mohammad Ali Road, said he faced difficulty in connecting to the service. “It took a lot of time to connect, but after connecting, it was running at a good speed,” Ali said.
Sonal Panchal, a Grant Road resident, said that being a marketing executive she attends a lot of meetings in different parts of the town and she saw that a lot of these WiFifi spots weren’t functioning properly. “Some of those which I know don’t work are at Kandivli, JVPD, Dahisar railway station and Dahisar sub-way, Goregaon station, Walkeshwar and Bhatia Junction. Secondly, I am not using it because I am not sure how safe are these spots,” Panchal said.
Blogger Karima Khan said the two hotspots she passes by are working well. “I’ve checked the ones at Andheri and Churchgate stations and they are working very well,” said Khan.
The Twitter handle — @AS_Mum_WiFi — created to get feedback from people has got a few complaints. First of all, the people were unable to download the list of hotspots from the government portal ‘Aaple Sarkar’. They found the portal too slow, thus making it difficult to download the list.
Most of the queries on the handle were pertaining to the procedure to connect with the service as people were unaware about how to connect and what was the name of the service.
VK Gautam, principal secretary of the state’s information technology department, said they have 50 teams deployed on the ground to sort out issues at the hotspots. Each team will cover 10 hotspots so that people will get smooth services. “The first 15 days is like a probation period for us as it is a huge project and the first of its kind as no city in the country has such a huge network of WiFi connectivity,” Gautam told HT.