Internet Suspension ‘Paradoxical’: Delhi CM Launches WiFi Scheme

The hotspots will be set up across the city, with 4,000 at bus stops and 7,000 parks and public spaces.

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India
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As services ‘suspended’ in Delhi, Kejriwal launches free WiFi.
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As several telecom service providers “suspended” their mobile and internet services across parts of Delhi-NCR on Thursday, 19 December, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched free WiFi hotspots in the national capital.

Kejriwal said that, “paradoxical that internet services were shut by authorities on this day due to protests against the amended Citizenship Act in the city. “

The chief minister expressed concern that the law and order situation, not only in Delhi, but the entire country was “deteriorating” day by day.

Delhi chief minister at the inaugurating event at ITO, stated, “Today, Manish and I spoke on video call through free WiFi of Delhi Government. I was on ITO and Manish on DU Metro. The entire Delhi WiFi will be covered with 11,000 free WiFi hotspots.”

He added, “Delhi will be the first city in the world to have WiFi all across.”

The hotspots will be set up across the city, with 4,000 at bus stops and 7,000 parks and public spaces.

The move by the Kejriwal government comes amid news of Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio suspending its services in parts of the city as pre-planned protests against Citizenship Amendment Act took place.

Of the 11,000 hotspots, 6,100 will have a speed of 200 mbps, while 4,000 will have 50 mbps, an AAP official cited at the event.

Kejriwal had announced the free WiFi scheme on 4 December and was earlier supposed to be launched on 16 December.

Meanwhile, two protests — Red Fort to Shaheed Park, and Mandi House to Parliament Street — were planned at around 11 am and 12 pm, respectively.

However, shortly after it began, many Twitter users complained of “internet slowdown” near ITO areas where a lot of publishing houses are located.

Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 in the Red Fort area and the North District in Delhi.

Amid the CAA unrest on Thursday, several people, including historian Ramchandra Guha, and activists Yogendra Yadav, Umar Khalid and Harsh Mander were arrested.

As for the AAP's project, it was announced by the party after coming to power in 2015 but got delayed due to various reasons, Kejriwal had stated.

(With inputs from PTI)

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