Starting next month, Bangalore, will be the first city in the country to have free public wi-fi hotspots, joining the likes of cities like Buenos Aires which has implemented this service, according to a new report. The service will start with hotspots located on Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G Road) and Brigade Road. The project is commissioned by a government panel headed by former Infosys director, Mohandas Pai, The Economic Times Reported.
The project started taking shape in January last year after the ICT group recommendations were forwarded to the Karnataka Chief Minister. The project is in its pilot phase and Bangalore based ISP D-VoiS is involved in the implementation, the report said. In the pilot phase the service will be provided for free. Once the service turns out to be viable for a large scale launch more ISPs would be involved and a revenue sharing model would be implemented.
This is not the first time free WiFi is being offered in the city, Bangalore has had its tryst with Free Wifi Hotspots (hype) many a times before through various projects which disappeared leaving no trace behind.
Back in late 2010 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation(BMTC) had planned to launch free WiFi service in their Vayu Vajra Bus service between ITPL and the airport. Users could access this service through a 7” lcd screen fixed behind every seat. After the success on the initial route, the service was to be extended to other routes and around 200 buses would have been inducted into this service. The service seems to have disappeared at a faster rate than it started with, the hype didn’t last more than a few months. But it made headlines!
Another such ambitious WiFi plan was launched back in 2006, wherein the whole city was to be provided with WiFi connectivity, providing citizens internet access at a nominal cost. Even for today’s times that project seems too ambitious. The service never saw the light of day.
With rising problems like traffic, garbage, and poor infrastructure haunting Bangalore, freebies like WiFi doesn’t seem like a very good marketing option. Or does it?