Around 500 WiFi hotspots went live across several locations in Mumbai city on Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Twitter. The state will install a total of 1,200 WiFi hotspots by May 1st, Fadnavis added. The state-sponsored WiFi project was initially being tested between Jan 2nd to Jan 8th; around 23000 users across Mumbai city signed up consuming more than 2 TB of data during the trial period.

An ET report said that WiFi usage will be free for all users until the end of January. Post this period, users will be charged anywhere around Rs 28 to Rs 30 per 100 MB with speed up to 20 mbps. The state plans to install hot spots in schools, colleges and hospitals under the second Phase of the project, added the report. A list of the existing 500 locations can be found here. Users can send their feedback and complaint to @AS_Mum_WiFi twitter handle.

The only roadblock is that most users are not aware about the exact hotspot locations. Several Mumbaikars took to Twitter inquiring the location details of the newly installed hotspots. Although the list is available in a pdf format on the govt website, the pdf failed to load, probably due to a large number of users trying to view the file. A mobile app with the map/list of hotspots along with a built-in registration module would be a possible fix.

Other state-sponsored WiFi projects

Recently several state-sponsored public WiFi initiatives were announced including Tamil Nadu’s plan for free WiFi facilities in public spaces and internet in schools, Delhi Government’s plan to install 1000 hotspots in 571 locations, and BSNL’s plan to install 10,000 hotspots at government-owned schools in Kerala. In November last year, the Karnataka State Government launched public WiFi services in 11 gram panchayat areas of Mysore, Tumakuru, Gadag, Ballari, Kalaburgi and Bagalkot.

On Monday, BSNL said it will install 3000 hotspots across 1,518 gram panchayats in the state of Assam. The state owned telco is laying down fibre cables spanning 5,200 kms for the project. BSNL also provides subsidized broadband connections in rural and remote areas of the country at rates starting from Rs 99 up till Rs 999.

Image Credit: Sébastien Bertrand under CC BY 2.0