Delhi will have to wait till 2017 for free wi-fi, says Kejriwal-led AAP govt

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New Delhi, April 2: Looking to fulfil one of its major poll promises of providing free wi-fi in Delhi, the AAP government had recently come up with a set of 10 questions by way of which it was looking for suggestions from the public for implementing the project.

But it seems that the Delhiites who were jubilant with the news of free Wi-Fi all over Delhi, as promised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will have to wait for two years.

Free wi-fi in Delhi: Wait till 2017 to avail the service, says AAP govt.
Delhi will get full wifi coverage in two years and around 700 wifi hotspots will be set up by February 2016, state government's Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of IT, Adarsh Shastri said on Thursday.

"We will get budgetary allocation in June and issue tender for wifi by July. First phase comprising 600-700 wifi hotspots will be rolled by February 2016. Wifi coverage in entire Delhi shall be done in 2 years," Shastri said while speaking at an event organised by telecom news portal TeleAnalysis.

Also read: 'Free' Wi-Fi in Delhi: Was AAP's promise just a poll gimmick?

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party had promised free wifi service in Delhi during its election campaigning. Speaking at the event, industry players, however, questioned the business model adopted by Delhi government for the sustainability of wifi operations in the state.

Shastri said that Delhi government has various programmes that need Internet connectivity, for which the state government will pay. Besides, there are a number of sites of Delhi government where telecom companies can install their equipment and in lieu provide free access to public.

"If these sites are given out for advertisements, it will fetch government revenue of Rs 20 crore per month. At any given point you can have 4 million smartphones connected to wifi. This can bring huge revenue model for companies. I have nowhere seen such big scale as in Delhi," Shastri said.

Also read: Kejriwal Govt fulfilling poll promises? To provide free wi-fi, AAP asks 10 questions from 'aam admi'

He added that by bringing various services online and giving people opportunity to access them will reduce efficiency as well as curb corruption.

"In terms of revenue, sky is the limit. Give them free wifi till the time it (browsing by public) is limited to basic services such as e-mail, government websites. If he wants to watch movie, download movie, make him pay," Shastri said.

It was earlier being said that the party has already done the feasibility study in consultation with IT firms according to which the ambitious dream was suppose become a reality in a period of 6 months.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from agencies)

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