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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Single bid holds up free Wi-Fi zone plan

Vinod Kumar , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 18, 2014
First Published: 10:10 IST(18/6/2014) | Last Updated: 10:17 IST(18/6/2014)

The Chandigarh administration’s ambitious project to set up first free ‘City Wi-Fi’ zone in northern India seems to be a distant dream. The tender floated by the department of information technology for setting up the system has evoked poor response as only one bid was received from Tata Teleservices.

The IT department has identified five locations — Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT), Sector 43 ISBT, Sector 17 Plaza, Sector 22 market and Sukhna Lake — where free Wi-Fi access point will be installed.

The free Wi-Fi hotspots will enable the residents visiting these areas to stay connected to the internet through their smartphones, tablets and laptops for a period of 30 minutes in a day. However, for making the system sustainable in the long term, the department plans to charge a nominal access fee from the residents for access duration above the specified limit.

Users will have to register their mobile numbers as identity proof before using the facility. The services will be available in a radius of 200 metres of each hotspot and only 100 users will be able to access internet at one time.

UT secretary, infor mation technology, Prerna Puri said they had received only one bid in the first attempt. “As per norms, work cannot be allocated if a single bid is received in the first attempt,” she said, adding that the department would again float fresh tenders.

The department will set up a round-the-clock helpdesk for providing assistance to users and registration of complaints regarding the system. The service provider will be required to train general public for registering, authenticating and accessing the Wi-Fi through their devices. Besides, the department will ensure creation and installation of display boards giving instructions for the end user on how to access the service. The department plans to put up at least four display boards per location within the radius of the Wi-Fi hotspot.

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