HYDERABAD: The Telangana IT department’s pilot project of free WiFi connectivity at the Tank Bund, which was launched amid much fanfare last month, has turned out to be a damp squib. The service, being jointly offered by BSNL and Quadgen, hasn’t been functioning.
Hyderabad took one step closer to becoming a smart city when IT minister KT Rama Rao had announced free WiFi to all citizens at the Tank Bund, Hussainsagar and the Necklace Road.
However, the euphoria of netizens was shortlived, as the connection stopped working shortly after it was launched. Students, who came to the Tank Bund to access the WiFi connection on Wednesday, had to return home disappointed.
“I badly wanted to access Internet... so, I came here right after college with my friends since there is WiFi connection here. However, I am shocked to see that there is no connectivity at all. How can they so blatantly try and fool the public?” fumed Surya Teja, a student of St. Mary’s College of Pharmacy. Echoing his views, Ravi Teja, another student from the same college, said, “It took more than 10 minutes for the network to obtain my IP address and then get connected. Even after getting connected, the signal strength was so weak that it was almost impossible for me to browse. With great difficulty I managed to open Facebook but before I could browse, it got disconnected.” Express reporter and photographer also tried in vain to connect to the WiFi network.
S Yugandha, a web recipe teacher at Home Science College, and another disappointed citizen, lamented, “I am an optimist and one of those people who was pleased when the government launched free WiFi last month. All my friends had zero hopes on this but I was hopeful. I even thought of purchasing WiFi vouchers once the free connection expires, but after looking at this poor connectivity, I have decided against it.”
When contacted, BSNL officials were in denial mode and passed the buck to Quadgen, who is partnering with the network carrier. “The issue has not yet come to our notice. We normally provide connection to one point from each system and it is Quadgen which is responsible for ensuring that WiFi is accessible to everybody. Normally, we don’t have an issue and we are yet to receive any complaints. But we will look into this matter,” said K Damodara Rao, principal general manager, BSNL, Hyderabad.