Citizens of Trikaripur village in Kasaragod district of Kerala now have access to free Wi-Fi connectivity on their mobile phones, reports Mathrubhumi. The report says that about 20% of the village’s 42,000 population have already been provided access to Wi-Fi connectivity, and the rest are expected to get it within the next three months.

The service is being provided though the optical fibre network of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). During the initial phase, Wi-Fi access will be available in a 2 km radius around the base station. The village council raised Rs 3 lakh internally to set up the base station and the service will cost them Rs 5,000 per month.

Users will have to log into the Trikaripur village council website on their phones, following which a password will be sent to them, which will allow users to access Internet for 15 minutes or consume 100 MB data. The connection will be terminated after this and users can re-login after a 10 minute gap. The service will remain free irrespective of how many times a user logs in during the day.

Wi-Fi hotspots at village panchayats: The Indian government had announced plans of setting up Wi-Fi hotspots across 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country, as part of its National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) project, back in October 2013. Apparently, the Department of Telecom was working on a proposal that was to be submitted to the Telecom Commission for approval and the union cabinet for the final nod. More than two years before this, the Telecom Commission had approved Rs 20,000 crore for creating the NOFN to provide broadband services across the villages in India by 2014.

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