The Delhi government is in talks with private players and assessing various models to bring the entire national capital under Wi-Fi network in “a year or two”, an official said today.
Gajendra Haldea, a member of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC), said the government should be more of an “enabler” in rolling out projects such as Wi-Fi.
DDC is an advisory body to the government. “We are in dialogue with various private players, if any
model is affordable then the universal Wi-Fi can be rolled out in Delhi in a year or two,” he said at a seminar on ‘ICT Solutions for Digital and Smart Delhi’ organised by FICCI here.
Haldea also referred to the Delhi government’s plan to introduce an “universal healthcare card” in the next five months to ensure free treatment to the marginalized section of the population. Providing free Wi-Fi across the national capital was one of the key poll promises of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan recently announced that over 500 locations across East Delhi will be made Wi-Fi zones by the year end, allowing access to free internet till a pre-determined limit daily.
“The government’s role in this is that of an enabler, a facilitator. In order to do so, the government should engage with the private sector. Their role is critical,” he added.
In Delhi, the AAP government promised 100 per cent WiFi coverage in the national capital, which has not rolled out so fast. IndianExpress has reported in February 2016, the IT department had identified 3000 ‘hot zones’ to provide this free WiFi, but the rollout has taken longer than expected.
Here’s a look at the free WiFi spots across Delhi
Khan Market and Connaught Place (CP) already have free WiFi spots in place. However, users have complained the WiFi in CP doesn’t work very well. In both, Khan Market and CP, users can register for the free WiFi service for a certain period of time, after which they will be charged.
New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) plans to cover all of Connaught Place, and Karol Bagh market to create free WiFi zones.
Delhi’s Hauz Khas village (HKV), which is filled with party-goers on weekends, also has free-WiFi by TataDocomo. The WiFi is free for the first 20 minutes of login. Re-charge cards are available once the 20 minutes are up.
Many coffee shops and bookstores in Delhi also provide free WiFi service. Major ones are Barista Coffee N-16 in CP, and Oxford Bookstore.
The New Delhi International Airport (international and domestic terminals) have free WiFi for first 30 minutes. But users need a valid Indian mobile number to sign in.
Free WiFi is also available at several metro stations in Delhi including Rajiv Chowk, and Kashmere Gate. Users need to register their mobile number after choosing the Delhi Metro WiFi spot. An OTP is generated, and sent via SMS, which can be used to log-in.
(with inputs from ENS)