VISAKHAPATNAM : If everything goes well, Vizagites can also enjoy free WiFi services by the end 2015, just like the denizens of Hyderabad, which has become the first city to offer free WiFi.
The procedure for setting up the much-awaited project is picking up pace and GVMC authorities will identify suitable commercial areas for providing WiFi services, soon after finalising the official network partner whose team is expected to visit Visakhapatnam within a week.
Being promoted as one of the first smart cities in the country, the City of Destiny was considered to have free WiFi zones by the Union Urban Development Ministry. In this respect, the officials of GVMC and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) were directed to identify places for providing free WiFi services. For unknown reasons, the project got delayed and now, it is back on track with MNCs expressing their readiness to visit the city on April 20 or 21.
Sources said that a few MNCs and domestic companies including Reliance Network are in the list with much favourable conditions to clinch the contract. However, officials remain tight-lipped.
After official confirmation and meeting the service providers, the GVMC authorities would set up a technical team for identification of areas. “The Beach Road would obviously be one of the selected places, as it is the biggest tourist attraction in the city. We will also identify other crowded areas in the city, including commercial places and IT areas where there will be more student and tourist movement. We’ll conduct surveys after holding meetings with the MNCs,” said GVMC commissioner J Pravin Kumar.
Apart from the identified places, the GVMC authorities will also request the officials of few other departments like railways, airport and multiplexes to set up free WiFi services to justify the Smart City title of Visakhapatnam. “WiFi services at the Visakhapatnam airport is already in the pipeline and we are in talks with the officials of railway station, multiplexes, etc,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources said that if all process goes well without any delay, Vizagites could enjoy free WiFi services, not in all parts of the city, but definitely in some major parts by this year-end, as a pilot project initially.