NEW DELHI :
The Delhi government will appoint wireless internet service providers to install 11,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots, offering 15GB data per month to every citizen, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday, adding that the initiative was the word’s biggest such project. Tenders will soon be floated to appoint the service providers.
According to state government estimates, the annual cost of the project will be ₹100 crore, and the services could start within the next three to four months.
Providing free Wi-Fi was part of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s 70-point agenda, which was released ahead of the 2015 assembly elections. The announcement comes less than seven months before the term of the Delhi assembly ends.
“The cabinet has approved 11,000 hotspots, which will be put across the city. Of these, 4,000 will be in bus stops and 7,000 across the 70 assembly constituencies (100 per assembly). This is the first phase. Every user will get 15GB per month," Kejriwal said, while addressing a press conference.
The decision was taken by the Delhi cabinet on Thursday.
Kejriwal said this was the biggest such initiative by a government anywhere in the world. The government aims to provide speeds of 200mbps, and 200 users will simultaneously be able to use this facility within a radius of 50 metres.
“Based on the learnings of the first phase, more will be installed in the next phase. This was a big election promise of ours and that is being done. The process of tendering needs to be completed. This will be done in the next three to four months," he added.
Kejriwal said all necessary safeguards will be put in place for the implementation and against potential misuse, including downloading sexually explicit content. “This is the first time anywhere in the world where free Wi-Fi will be given at such a scale. The youth feel the need for it and that’s why we are giving it," he said.
The Delhi cabinet also approved the installation of more surveillance cameras in the city. The government aims to take the number of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in each constituency to 4,000 in the coming months.
“There may be more CCTVs in other cities, but Delhi will become the first city in the world where the government is installing nearly 3 lakh CCTVs at one go to ensure women’s safety and to provide a major push to infrastructure," Kejriwal said.
The AAP came to power in the national capital in 2015, winning 67 of the 70 assembly constituencies.