BENGALURU: You may soon be able to access WiFi at all major places across the state. The Department of IT and BT is planning to provide the service in association with internet service providers. The proposal is to provide the service free of cost for the first 15 minutes, after which one has to pay for the WiFi facility.
In 2014, free WiFi service was launched in Brigade Road, where one can browse for three hours and download up to 50 MB. Bengaluru-based service provider
D-VoiS was providing the facility. Though it was decided to extend the service to other places in the city, the plan was never executed. Minister for IT-BT Priyank Kharge said, “That was on a trial basis. We are taking it further now.”
Kharge said they have had a couple of meetings with a few service providers. Some more meetings are lined up. “If everything goes as per the plan, this will be implemented in the next two months,” he said.
To begin with, the WiFi facility will be introduced in BBMP limits, Metro stations, malls, libraries and other public places.
“We will also simultaneously take up the work in 11 corporation limits, including Mysuru. Unlike Maharashtra, we will not give the project to one internet service provider but to multiple players in Karnataka. The rate has not been fixed yet,” Kharge said.
In November 2016, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had launched Grameen WiFi as a pilot project in 11 gram panchayats. Kharge said that this is being run on a trial basis. While this has been a success in some places like Ballari, it is not so popular in Aland taluk of Kalaburagi district.However, this service is not free of cost.
The state government has allotted D50 crore to extend the WiFi facility across Karnataka. “We are also helping people, especially youngsters, if they want to start internet cafes in villages.
We will help them get broadband connections,” Kharge said.