As many as 400 government schools, Basti Dawakhana, hospitals, public libraries, shopping malls and 47 Metro rail stations across the city are among facilities covered by the hotspots set up under the Hy-Fi project of the State government in collaboration with Internet service provider ACT Fibernet.
Addressing an event here on Wednesday to commemorate the over 3,000 public wi-fi hotspots, IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao said Hyderabad is now home to India’s largest free wi-fi network. “You have done a fabulous job,” he said, appreciating the company that implemented the project pro bono. He said efforts should now be aimed at leveraging the infrastructure to help people through this pandemic, by way of launching e-health and telemedicine initiatives.
Turning to Mayor Vijayalakshmi R Gadwal, the Minister said the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) should “now start owning up the project”. Earlier, the Mayor told the programme that public wi-fi network was an important amenity for the residents and served as a platform to improve access to education.
IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said Hy-Fi project formed part of the Digital Telangana component of the IT policy unveiled in 2016 and is bound to remain an important infrastructure amid an increased thrust towards digitisation.
Hyderabad Metro Rail Managing Director N.V.S.Reddy said the remaining 10 metro stations will also be covered under the Hy-Fi project. If ACT Fibernet comes forward, HMR can extend the facility in the trains as well thus making Hyderabad the second city in the country to provide wi-fi onboard metro.
In an interaction with the media ahead of the programme, Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT) CEO Bala Malladi said there has been a steep increase in data consumption by subscribers of the paid services offered by the company. From an average of 180 GB per month prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it now stood at 300 GB per month. The company has a customer base of 19 lakh across multiple cities.
Usage of the free wi-fi facility is also picking up after a sharp decline from the pre-pandemic number of about four lakh users, he said.
Source: The Hindu