Following individual state governments embarking upon free wi-fi spots in capitals and select areas, Delhi government promising the entire capital a wi-fi treat in 5 years, the Centre has announced a whopping Rs.6,000 crore budget for the state-run BSNL to set up 40,000 wi-fi hotspots across the country.
However, these hotspots will not be free but chargeeable at minimum denominations ranging from Rs.20 to Rs.70 depending on the usage period of up to one day, said telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiling the facility in Taj Mahal, Agra.
Giving more details, the minister said the tenders for the project will be floated in July and the entire project should be completed by 2018 as per the plan and in the first phase, all tourist places in the country will be covered numbering 2,500 hotspots in 250 places this year itself.
Speaking at the function in Agra, BSNL CMD Anupam Srivastava said that 200 spots have already been set up and that in all the wi-fi hotspots, the first 30 minutes of surfing will be free in a day. From the next 30 minutes onwards it will charged on subscription basis at Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 50 and Rs 70 for 30 min, 60 min, 120 min and one day, respectively.
Besides Agra, other tourist spots which will get covered under the project include Khajuraho, Puri Jagannath temple, amomg others.
Last month, Hyderabad co-opted BSNL to set up similar wi-fi hotspots in Tank Bund area covering the NTR park and the surrounding areas and Hussain Sagar.