Time to speed up the initiative

Free WiFi

Time to speed up  the initiative

Like many bustling cities in the world, it was a matter of pride when Bangalore became the first City in India to have free WiFi spots earlier this year. 

   The Namma WiFi service was launched amidst much aplomb and can be used on MG Road, Bri­gade Road, CMH Road, Sha­ntinagar, Yes­hwantpur and Kor­ama­ngala bus statio­ns. 

   Though it is slow, many tech afficionados have been happy with it. Now that it has almost  been a year since the launch, Metrolife speaks to a few of them to find out what’s free WiFi like in the IT City. 

Dr Richard, who is pursuing pediatrics at the Bangalore Medical College, has used it a few times on MG Road and Shantinagar. “Though logging on was difficult initially, I was able to use it at both the spots. The connectivity was good,” he notes. Quite happy with the service, he says, “It’s a great initiative. It would be even better if the authorities are able to extend it to more such places.”

Even Ruben, a student, has used it a number of times on MG Road. “I use it when my data pack is over. It’s too slow for downloads so I just check What’s App and Facebook with it. However, I restrict my usage as I think it could be risky to give them access to our phones,” he notes. Though the range is restricted, Ruben has no complaints. “You need to stand in one particular place to get connected. If you keep moving around, you could lose connectivity,” he adds.    

 Reyma Thomas, a student of BMS College of Engineering, was one of the lucky few to have downloaded her What’s App using the WiFi on MG Road.

 “It helps when you have free WiFi. The service needs to be extended to all other areas. Nowadays, everyone is dependent on the internet,” she says and adds, “It’s great that MG Road is one of the hotspots. It’s an area that most people go to.” However, not everyone has been as happy with this service.

Akhil, who works on MG Road, laments, “I wish the Namma WiFi was as fast as the Namma Metro. First of all, it is impossible to connect it when you are inside your office. And even if one manages to get connected, the speeds are so slow that one might as well use their 2G data connection only.”

Former Infosys chief Mohandas Pai, who headed the committee that came up with the idea for the service in Bangalore, has been happy with the feedback. “I have got a great feedback. People want the whole City to have free WiFi. They also want the process of logging in to be simpler,” he says. 

Ask him if there are any plans of extending this service to other spots of the City and he says, “We need to talk to the government regarding the same. We can add various features to it but first, we need to take a decision on the wider coverage,” he sums up.

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