BENGALURU: On Thursday, 500 gram panchayats across the state began using Wi-Fi services to access the internet from the comfort of their homes. The government initiative to provide 2,560 gram panchayats with free Wi-Fi was launched at the inaugural session of the Bengaluru Technology Summit by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
With more than 90% of the state’s villages covered under the Bharatnet programme of the state-owned BSNL, providing Wi-Fi services to the villages did not pose much of a challenge, officials said.
In November last year, a pilot project was launched in 11 villages and now the project will scale up rapidly to include all 2,560 gram panchayats by the end of the financial year.
The Wi-Fi services will be provided up to a range of 1 kilometre from the Gram Panchayat office. Villagers can browse the internet at high speeds for the first 100 MB after which there would be a speed reduction or a fee. Keonics is the implementing partner for this service.
“While we continue to remain the leaders in the IT industry across the country, it is my dream to see Bengaluru and Karnataka become a global destination for the IT and biotech sectors. We are working towards this by launching incubators in other cities like Kalaburagi, Hubbali and Mysuru as well,” Siddaramaiah said.
Organised at Bangalore Palace, the tech summit which concludes on November 18, will also include the Bengaluru Maker Faire, which will offer workshops for tinkerers and makers on how to create things. An animation, visual effects, gaming and comics summit will also be conducted over the next two days.