The much-touted free Internet service for Hyderabad residents has been fulfilled by the Telangana government with IT Minister KT Rama Rao inaugurating the service in Hussainsagar, NTR Marg, Necklace Road but rules apply as it is free only for the first 30 minutes and BSNL charges will apply after that.
For the service, BSNL and WiFi infra firm Quadgen Wireless Solutions have set up the project under a grand plan under Hyderabad Wi-Fi project. Just click on QR-BSNL on available Internet connection options and opt for complementary option and there you go online.
Union telecommunications minister Ravishankar Prasad, who joined the inauguration via online from Delhi, said the first WiFi pilot project of Telangana government should soon expand into all tourist spots in the country.
State IT minister KT Rama Rao said WiFi access will be expanded in every corner of the state by the end of this year. “This is only a pilot project and we plan to take Wi-Fi establishment to every single part of the city by the end of the year. We will be the first Wi-Fi enabled city in the country,” he added.
Unveiling future plans, the state IT minister said by 2019, Telangana will be completely turned into a digital state. “We have decided to provide fibre optical cable to each and every household. Telangana will be the first to give fibre optic broadband cable to each of its citizens,” he announced.
The initial reaction was the despite being a free government service, the Internet access in the area is quite fast, though it is restricted to free use for the first 30 minutes, which should help some quick search and info-seeking operations. For longer than 30 minutes, it will be charged at the BSNL prices.
Another pilot project taken up by Airtel to set up free Wi-Fi facility in 17 locations over 8 km in Hyderabad was taken up for three months earlier connecting Cyber Towers to Madhapur Police Station, Cyber Towers to Kothaguda Junction and Cyber Towers to Raheja Mindspace Circle.
K.T. Rama Rao had earlier unveiled the roadmap to make the whole of 700 sq km area of Hyderabad into a ‘global smart city’ on the lines of many global cities like Seoul or some 50 cities in the US, which provide free Internet access to their citizens, making them netizens.
Now that Hyderabad has joined global cities elsewhere, where the living standards of the residents soon saw a dramatic rise due to Internet access.
According to a 2010 survey, free Wi-Fi helped cities grow their GDP by 0.3% and businesses in the localities almost doubled their inquiry leads for business establishments due to the Wi-Fi provided freely in the area.
In April 2013, Indian Railways had rolled out free Wi-Fi services on New Delhi – Howrah Rajdhani Express. Bangalore introduced it in January 2014 at 5 places including MG Road, Brigade Road, Airport among others. Notable places where free Wi-Fi services are being offered include the New Delhi railway station, Bangalore Metro, Khan Market and Connaught Place.