Varanasi, Feb 8: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated BSNL's free Wi-fi service in Varanasi on Sunday and promised a project worth over Rs 100 crore to boost Internet connectivity in the district.
Besides, the Minister announced setting up the state's first IT park with support from the central government.
"Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and IT, inaugurated Wi-fi hotspot zone created by BSNL at Dashashwamedh Ghat & Shitala Ghats of Varanasi today," BSNL said in a statement.
The company would be providing free Wi-fi services, for 30 minutes per 24 hours, that visitors can utilise in multiple sessions. After the free usage limit of 30 minutes is exhausted, a customer can continue using the service on a paid basis, for which subscription plans are available in the denomination of Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 50 and Rs 70 for validity of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes and one day, respectively.
BSNL has also planned to expand the coverage of Wi-fi facility to other Ghats like Rajendra Prasad Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Tript Bhairvi Ghat, Mir Ghat, Lalita Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat by the end of this month.
Prasad said BSNL will expand its mobile network in Varanasi further with a total estimated cost of Rs 60 crore, the statement said. This expansion involves conversion of existing mobile network to IP-based network and addition of 64 new 2G and 3G mobile sites.
He also announced that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's programme of National Optical Fiber Network, 872 Gram Panchayats of Varanasi will get connected with Optical fiber at a cost of Rs 58 crore.
The Minister promised setting up first IT park in the state at Varanasi under Software Technology Park of India (STPI).
Prasad also proposed to set up an Extension Centre of NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology) Gorakhpur at Varanasi with an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore, which will offer 'Digital Marketing' course for artisans and weavers here.