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BSNL to set up 40,000 WiFi hot spots across India

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Some basic info to understand the news better:

  • A WiFi hot spot is a physical location that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network (WLAN) through the use of a router connected to a link to an Internet service provider.
  • Bangalore has become the first city in India to have free wifi hotspots. The project allows a person to browse upto three hours a day and download upto 50 MB of data.

Now, the news:

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will set up 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country over the next three years through the public-private-partnership mode.
  • The tender for the project is likely to be floated by early July and about Rs. 6,000 crore will be required to complete the project. “The project is likely to be completed by 2018,” Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
  • However, Wi-Fi services will be free only for the first 30 minutes. Later, one can purchase coupons from stalls nearby.After 30 minutes, a customer can continue using the service on paid basis for which subscription plans are available in the denomination of Rs. 20, Rs. 30, Rs. 50 and Rs. 70 for validity of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes and one day, respectively.
  • Once expansions happen, not only tourists, but locals too would utilise services for doing business and attracting more tourists, he said.

Know more on this news topic:

  • The launch is a part of the Narendra Modi led government’s initiative to provide Wi-Fi hot spots in cities with population of over 10 lakh and in tourist centres, under the Digital India programme.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has collaborated with state-run telecom services provider BSNL for the service
  • ASI has identified 25 spots, including Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Sarnath Temple, Konark Temple, Khajurao, which are also likely to become public WiFi hotspots.
  • Digital India is an initiative of Government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India. It aims at ensuring the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork.