Enjoy unlimited free WiFi for at least another month in Mumbai
The state government had on January 6 rolled out its ambitious free-WiFi project by activating 510 hotspots across public places in the city. With this, Mumbai became the first city with free WiFi connectivity.Updated: Mar 22, 2017 00:11 IST
Mumbaiites will get to use unlimited free WiFi services in the city for at least another month. The Maharashtra government has decided to postpone its plans to charge for the service till April. The extension may be continued till the government completes its target of activating all the 1,200 WiFi hotspots in the city.
The state government had on January 6 rolled out its ambitious free-WiFi project by activating 510 hotspots across public places in the city. With this, Mumbai became the first city with free WiFi connectivity. The government plans to create 1,200 hotspots in the city of which 585 are active now.
The government wanted to start charging for its internet services after providing it free of cost for three months. The state information and technology department, however, found it difficult to impose charges as according to their original plans they are yet to create 615 more hotspots in the city by May 1. A source from the department said that making the citizens pay for the service without rolling out the service completely might not look appropriate and so the deadline for paid WiFi services has been pushed back.
“It will take some time for the new hotspots to function smoothly and charging citizens for it may attract negative reaction,” said the source.
Confirming the move, principal secretary of the information and technology department VK Gautam said, “We are now planning to charge people for using the WiFi services after all the 1,200 hotspots are activated in Mumbai.”
As a consultant for the IT department, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was asked to study formulae being adopted across countries while charging for such services. PwC is yet to submit its report, the source said.
According to initial plans of the government, WiFi services will continue to be free till a certain limit. For example, the user may be allowed to use 100 MB internet or the first 30 minutes free of charge but will be asked to pay continuing with the service beyond that limit.