100 free Wi-Fi hot spots in city from December 16: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday announced that the government will launch free Wi-Fi hot spots across Delhi from December 16.

Providing free Wi-Fi to all was one of the key poll promises in the 70-point manifesto released by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of the 2015 assembly elections. “With this, our last promise in the AAP manifesto has also been fulfilled,” Kejriwal said at a press conference. The assembly polls in Delhi are scheduled for early next year.

Kejriwal said the first 100 hot spots will be launched on December 16 following which 500 hot spots will be added every week. An app will be launched through which users will have to upload their KYC (know your customer) details. After this, an OTP will be generated on the mobile phone to activate the Wi-Fi connection. The chief minister explained that the internet will not be disconnected if a user shifts from one hot spot to another.

In the first phase, as many as 11,000 hot spots will be created by September 2020. Of these, 4,000 will be at bus stops and the remaining 7,000 at market places and colonies, he said.

Of the 7,000, each of the 70 constituencies will have 100 spots each. The budget of the project is around ₹100 crore. The first batch of hot spots are going to come up at Kashmere Gate ISBT and Metro station, ITO bus stop, Mandi House bus stop, Delhi Secretariat, and Indraprashtha Metro station. The first few constituencies to get these will be Adarsh Nagar (18), Badali (19), Moti Nagar (10), Seemapuri (16) and Shahdara (18).

Kejriwal also said once the 11,000 hot spots are created, people will get free internet access at a distance of every half a kilometre across the national capital.

“Every day, each user will get up to 1.5GB data and the monthly limit will be 15GB. The average speed will range from 100-150Mbps with congested areas having an internet speed of up to 200Mbps,” he said.

Kejriwal said the project is being undertaken under a “rent model”, wherein the private company providing the connectivity will be paid on a ‘per hot spot basis’ every month.

“Like free water and power, the Delhi government feels that today, in the age of technology, people should also have access to basic internet facilities. This project fulfils that aim,” he said.

The chief minister also said the government is planning to link all its CCTV cameras with the Wi-Fi system in the future. Hindustan Times had reported about this on July 1 this year.

The AAP, which came to power by winning 67 of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly, was unable to begin its flagship project in the first four years of its tenure.

In 2016, the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi was in charge of the Wi-Fi project and had launched a pilot run in north Delhi’s Sant Nagar. The pilot failed and the scheme was then transferred to the government’s information technology department, which, too, failed to prepare a project report.

In March 2018, the Delhi government shifted the project to the public works department (PWD). By January 2019, the department had shortlisted three possible models of which the rent model was selected.

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