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Delhi cabinet approves free Wi-Fi project

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The Delhi cabinet has approved free Wi-Fi hotspots across the national capital. Addressing the media, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there will be 11,000 hotspots all over the city.

“A total of 4,000 hotspots will be installed at bus shelters and 7,000 in various colonies. Each of the 70 Assembly constituency will get 100 hotspots,” he said.

The project, with an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore, will be on ground in three-four months, Kejriwal said.

Each user will get 15 gb limit per month.

Kejriwal also said the government will build all necessary safeguards to ensure there is no misuse. “About 200 users can use the hotspots simultaneously having a speed of 200 mbps in a radius of 50 meters,” he added.

The WiFi project, an election promise of the Aam Aadmi Party, has missed a number of deadlines. Kejriwal said although the time and technology had changed, youths kept asking him about the project.

He said, “The free Wi-Fi will be an addition to what people are already getting from the telecom companies.”

Calling it the first phase of Wi-Fi installation, Kejriwal said once this phase is complete, “we will collate the learning from the experience and make provisions for additional hotspots if necessary in the next phase.”

Explaining more, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain said the project is running on an opex model (operating expense) Service model.

Jain said, “The entire capital investment in setting up the infrastructure will be made by the vendor. But the government will bear the operating cost of approximately Rs 100 crore per annum for providing 15 GB free WiFi per month for all users.”

The budget provision of around Rs 150 crore has already been kept in the current financial year for this work.

The government said the CCTVs being currently installed in residential areas will be integrated with this free Wi-Fi project to enable the authorized residents to access the CCTV feed on their mobiles or any internet connected systems.

“Existing systems will also act as Wi-Fi range extenders,” the government said in a statement.

The Chief Minister said his election promises had a deadline of five years, which will end in February 2020.

“All our election promises had a deadline of five years and we will complete the projects by then,” Kejriwal said.

In its 2015 election manifesto, the AAP promised to make Wi-Fi freely available in public spaces across Delhi.

“Citywide Wi-Fi can help in bridging the digital divide. It will also provide an impetus to education, entrepreneurship, business, employment and also tie in with women’s safety initiatives,” the manifesto read.

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