BHUBANESWAR: Even as the entire Puri town was buzzing with over a million and a half devotees thronging the holy place for the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra, the mobile Internet service providers went into a hiding of sorts.
Despite the much-vaunted unveiling of wi-fi Internet connectivity in Puri, all the claims of free Internet service turned into a damp squib. Even paid service was not working during the peak hours leaving users frustrated.
State-owned BSNL’s 30-minute free wi-fi service was particularly disappointing as the Internet service was virtually non-operational on the Grand Road where it was supposed to be available. Though an official of the telecom giant claimed that heavy demand on the service jammed the systems, it was a lame excuse since BSNL was supposed to know that the religious event would be thronged by lakhs of pilgrims from across the country and even abroad.
Interestingly, BSNL’s 3G service was so poor that it was not operational across most parts of the holy town.
The national service provider apart, private telecom companies, which used the Rath Yatra for brand building, were also a huge letdown as their mobile Internet service was virtually a non-starter during the big day.
International media agencies, TV channels, journalists and even the administrative officials bore the brunt of the bad network and had to rush to Internet cafes to transmit data using the broadband service, which fortunately, was still up and running.