The Karnataka Government has announced that it will unveil public WiFi hotspots in Bengaluru on the upcoming Republic Day and will gradually expand the service in 11 municipal corporations over the next two months.
As per reports, IT Minister of the state, Priyank Kharge has been pushing for the early rollout of the public Internet service and is aiming to set up more than 5,000 public hotspots in the state before the Assembly elections to be held in May 2018
As per the initial plan, citizens will get to use the public WiFi free for the first 30 minutes. They will have to pay the commercial rates, as fixed by TRAI, for using the service beyond the first 30 minutes. Four companies — Indus Towers, Honeycomb, D-VoiS Communications and ACT Fibernet — have expressed interest to offer the services. .
Indus Towers has offered to set up 140 smart poles in the city, while ACT Fibernet has offered to build WiFi hotspots at 1,000 spots in Bengaluru and Mysuru. Honeycomb and D-VoiS have offered to install hotspots at 2,555 locations each in Benglauru, Mysuru and Kalaburagi.
Commenting on the development, Priyank said, “We have adopted the present model after studying how various cities have introduced public wifi hotspots. The model that we are implementing will not entail any cost to the government. The expression of interest (EoI) called by the government has received good response from private internet service providers (ISPs)”
As evident from his statement, it can be understood that the service providers will have to pay a rent for their installations at public places. The IT Department is evaluating the offers made by the four companies and will issue approvals in the next few days. The government will give them three months after granting approvals for the complete rollout as committed by them. If any of them fail, the government will cancel the bids and call for fresh expressions