Delhi: First 100 of 11,000 hotspots to be operational by December 16

Fulfilling the “last promise” made in its manifesto before the 2015 assembly polls, the AAP government on Wednesday announced that free Wi-Fi would be made available to Delhiites from December 16. CM Arvind Kejriwal said initially 100 hotspots would be made operational as part of the project in which 11,000 hotspots would be created across the city. People will get 15GB data for free every month.

Kejriwal said the project will make Delhi the first city in the world to have such an extensive public Wi-Fi network. Terming minimum data usage as a basic need, the CM added that free Wi-Fi connections would help students and also benefit the health and education sectors.

“The AAP government is the first in Delhi to fulfill all manifesto promises. Minimum internet connectivity and minimum data usage have become a requisite for people in this digital age. Considering the importance of internet in our daily lives, Delhi government has decided to provide it for free. A hundred hotspots will be inaugurated on December 16,” Kejriwal said.

Of the 11,000 hotspots, 4,000 will be installed at bus stands. The remaining 7,000 hotspots (100 in each assembly constituency) will be installed across marketplaces and residential areas. The total expenditure will be around Rs 100 crore.

The project will operate on a standard rent model. Delhi government will pay rent every month to the telecompany for each hotspot installed. After the initial installation of 100 hotspots, another 500 will be installed every week. A plan has been devised to integrate CCTV cameras with the Wi-Fi hotspots. The responsibility of the maintenance of the equipment would be with Delhi government.

“Delhiites will be able to access a Wi-Fi connection every 500 metres in the city. Each hotspot will support a radius of 100 metres. Every user will be given 15GB free data per month with a daily cap of 1.5GB. On average, the maximum speed of the connection will be 200mbps, but the estimated speed will be between 100-150mbps. Each hotspot will be able to support 150-200 users simultaneously,” Kejriwal said.

Users will have to submit their KYC details on an app and use the OTP received on their phones to access the hotspot. The Wi-Fi connections will not get disconnected if a user goes from one hotspot to another. Further installation of hotspots across the remaining areas of the city will be determined on the experience and success of the 11,000 connections.

The government had set September 2020 as the deadline for providing free internet to people in the city by installing 11,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. The project was transferred from the IT department to PWD. Initially, PWD said that it won’t be able to execute the project because of “lack of expertise” and “scarcity of staff”. Later, it agreed to implement the plan.

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