If all goes according to plan, citizens of Bengaluru will soon be able to access free, high speed internet at over 4,000 wifi hotspots set up the state government in collaboration with ACT, the third largest broadband service provider in the country.
Making the announcement at Bangalore Tech Summit being held at Bangalore Palace grounds, Deputy CM CN Ashwath Narayan said the state government was fulfilling a “consistent demand” by citizens, tourists and other stakeholders.
The Rs 100-crore project will be fully funded by ACT, with no investment from the government and will be operational in the next nine months. The hotspots will be located in high-density regions and public places like hospitals, bus stops, public institutions and citizens will get to use the service for up to one hour.
“ACT fibernet company has come forward to provide, in the public space, the wifi and net service. There has been a consistent demand by public, tourists, and many other stakeholders to have this kind of facility, so that the ecosystem or the requirement of the people can be addressed very effectively by providing one hour free, high speed, fibernet internet service will be provided free of cost across Bengaluru.”Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan
He went on to say that it would take nine months for the project to be implemented which would commence once the work orders are officially issued.
A senior executive at ACT, a Bengaluru-based company said that undertaking the project was part of their social service venture with the IT capital being the second city where they have launched such an initiative. Hyderabad and Chennai are the other two cities where such a project is in the works.
“If we can connect most of the high footfall areas of the city with high-speed gigabyte connectivity and give the citizens, anybody any guest can login and they can get up to 45 mins to 1 hour free WiFi connectivity. If you are our customer, you will automatically get connected to this WiFi hotspot and you’ll get seamless experience. For everyone else you will get an id, an OTP and you will actually get one hour free,” he said.
The ACT executive added that the company had been connecting almost 3,000 surveillance cameras across the city over the last 3-4 years.
In September 2018, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had announced a plan to set up 3,500 wifi hotspots in public places but the project never took off.