Karnataka government is going to launch public wifi hotspots service in Bengaluru on the upcoming Republic Day. The facility will be further expanded in 11 municipal corporations over two months.
Bengaluru will have about 5,000 public hotspots before the Assembly elections, which ends on May 28, 2018.
According to the Information technology minister Priyank Kharge, citizens will get to use the public wifi free for the first 30 minutes. Post free time limit, charges will be applicable as fixed by TRAI, reported ET.
“We have adopted the present model after studying how various cities have introduced public wifi hotspots. The model that we are implementing will not entail any cost to the government,” Kharge said.
The expression of interest (EoI) called by the government has received good response from private internet service providers (ISPs). So far Indus Towers, Honeycomb, D-VoiS Communications and ACT Fibernet have expressed interest to provide public wifi hotspots.
Indus Towers has offered to set up 173 smart poles in municipal corporations all over Karnataka with 140 of them in Bengaluru. Honeycomb and D-VoiS have offered to install hotspots at 2,555 locations each in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Kalaburagi. ACT Fibernet has offered to build wifi hotspots at 1,000 spots in Bengaluru and Mysuru.
The government will give three months after granting approvals for the complete rollout as committed by the four companies. If any of them fail, the government will cancel the bids and call for fresh expressions. The service providers will have to pay a rent for their installations at public places.
In November, the Karnataka government led by Siddaramaiah, kicked-off a project to install WiFi facilities in all gram panchayats across the state. The project will initially start with 2,650 gram panchayats.
The Wi-Fi services will be provided up to a range of 1 kilometer from the Gram Panchayat office. Villagers can browse the internet at high speeds for the first 100 MB after which there would be a speed reduction or a fee. Keonics is the implementing partner for this service.