Get ready to pay for the government’s WiFi service, which has been free for the past three months. The state will begin charging for the service from the first week of April, but only after you use 100MB or the first thirty minutes. Surfing for service-oriented websites of the state and central government will continue to be free. VK Gautam, principal secretary of state’s information technology department, confirmed the development. The charges, however, are yet to be determined.
“The WiFi services will not be completely free from April. The users can avail the facility completely up to 100 MB or for the first 30 minutes but after that they will have to pay,” Gautam told HT.
On January 6, just before the civic polls, the government had rolled out its ambitious free WiFi service project by activating 510 hotspots across public places. With this, Mumbai became the first Indian city with WiFi connectivity. The government later activated 75 more hotspots in the city taking the tally up to 585. Initially, the service was declared completely free until the end of January, which was later extended to March.
The principal secretary said a decision on the charges will be taken in the next few days. But Mumbaiites will be able to surf service- oriented government websites for free. “We have decided to make surfing free for all state and central government websites that provide services to the citizens. This will be done by white labelling some 17-18 government websites,” the principal secretary said.
For instance, the ‘Aaple Sarkar’ web portal, through which the state government provides 372 services under Right to Services (RTS) initiative and other such websites, will be free for citizens, he said.