Moving closer towards the “free WiFi” promise made by the Delhi government, the Information Technology department is ready with a proposal to provide free WiFi usage upto 1 GB per month per SIM card.
The department has also identified 3,000 “hot zones” across Delhi’s 70 Assembly constituencies, where WiFi will be made available first. Senior officials said 3,000 more hot zones will be created at a later stage. The zones, which were identified after consulting area MLAs, include public parks, small markets and external areas of hospitals.
“We held many consultations with all stakeholders. The process of consultation and discussion has been completed and the request for proposal for the WiFi scheme has been done. This will now have to be approved by the Cabinet to be rolled out,” a senior government official said.
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The cost of the project will be determined based on a number of factors like potential users, available infrastructure, density of population and nearest internet connection.
Hence, officials said, budgetary allocations will be made only after the Cabinet approves the scheme, and bids for tenders are received.
“For now we plan to give free WiFi usage upto 1 GB per month per SIM. For usage above that, service providers can charge the users according to limits laid down by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). At a further stage, we may think of enhancing this limit to 5 GB,” an official said.
Government sources said there will be three types of WiFi services- public, college and vehicle.
While the government will invite tenders for public WiFi that will be provided in hot zones, the college WiFi may be developed on existing local area networks (LAN) provided by the college managements.
“While the public service may take at least six months to be functional after cabinet approval, the college WiFi may be rolled out immediately,” an official said.
Officials said the WiFi that will be provided in DTC buses, however, will work well only 4G as the buses will be in motion. “Hybrid WiFi transmitters will be installed at places with slow-moving traffic to enhance connectivity,” he said.
In the detailed proposal, the IT department has also said that tenders for public WiFi will be issued constituency-wise and no bidder will be allowed to provide connectivity to more than 10 hot zones.
“If a bidder comes forward for more places, he will be allowed to provide WiFi in one-third of the limit of 10. So nobody will be allowed more than 13 places..,” an official said.
“This model is very different from the one in Connaught Place set up by the New Delhi Municipal Council. There is no bartering. In CP, the providers are given right of way for their other projects in lieu of providing free WiFi to the public. In our model, the government will pay for actual usage of up to 1GB per month per SIM. There is no free give and take. This should ensure good quality connection,” a senior official said.