It was a moment of pride for Patna when the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled the longest free wi-fi zone of the world from National Institute of Technology Patna on the Ashok Raj Path road to Danapur
Earlier, China’s 3.5 Kms long Wi-Fi zone was reckoned to be the longest but Patna has now surpassed this. Now, from 1st April onwards all colleges in university campus are going to have WI-FI. The IT department of the state government which is supposed to facilitate the expression of interest from private IT companies (EOI) has prepared a draft for this action plan.
IT department secretary S Siddhartha said, under the new system the work is being supported by private telecom operators.
The state government will provide funds based on the bill provided by the telecom companies. The bill will also clearly state which mobile customer has used the WI-FI and for how long which will, in turn, ensure transparency.
In December, there are plans to invite tenders in this regard to telecoms operators. Immediately after the tender gets finalized Patna colleges will get free WI-FI. The telecoms company which bags the tender will be the one who is in charge of maintenance of facilities.This facility will be gradually made available to colleges in other cities in Bihar apart from Patna.
Free WI-FI is like a ray of the sunshine for the students of Patna, a place predominantly known for its prevalent backwardness both financial and educational.
But there are some students like Sanjeev Kumar from Patna science college who think that there is a need to first concentrate on supplying quality access and work on issues such as 'affordability'. He argues “why is the government propelling for free WI-FI when our telecoms aren't able to provide quality internet over paid access. Indians still pay more per GB than 200 other countries in the world!”