At Delhi’s 11,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, free 15GB internet data: Kejriwal
The Delhi cabinet has approved setting up of 11,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in the city that would allow smartphone and computer users to use 15GB of internet data every month at a maximum speed of 200 mbps, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.
Free Wi-Fi in public spaces was one of the poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party in 2015. The party came to power with 67 out of 70 seats but the flagship project could not take off in four years despite multiple efforts by three departments.
As the party started to gear up for the next assembly polls, likely to be held in early 2020, the project was given a fresh push early this year.
Watch | Chief Minister Kejriwal promises more CCTVs & 15 GB free data for Delhiites
The project, which was allocated Rs 100 crore in the state’s budget last year, is set to take off in another four months, said Kejriwal.
He further said, the project will be executed in a public private partnership model under which the routers will be provided by vendors but it will be operated by the government.
The services, Kejriwal said, will be available in 50-metre radius around each router in every hotspot and as many as 200 persons will be able to avail the services at a time. Multiple users at a time will, however, slow down the internet speed.
At Thursday’s cabinet meeting, the government also approved installation of 1.4 million more CCTV cameras across the city, which will take the total number or cameras under this flagship project to 2.8 million.
Kejriwal said the first phase of the project is already underway; the second could take another 3-4 months to start.
In 2016, the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi was in charge of the Wi-Fi project and had launched a pilot run of the project in north Delhi’s Sant Nagar. The pilot, however, failed. The project was then transferred to the government’s Information Technology department but it failed to prepare a project report.
In March 2018, the Delhi government shifted the project to the Public Works Department (PWD) of the government.
By January 2019, the department shortlisted three possible models for executing the project.
Under the proposed model, while fresh routers will be set up in some of the hotspots, in others the in-built routers in CCTV cameras, installed under the CCTV project, will be extended to provide Wi-Fi connectivity, senior government officials said.