Pune: On Republic Day, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has planned to inaugurate 150 free WiFi hotspots at locations across the city. The PMC, which has tied up with Google to provide the service, claims that this the first time in the world that Google has tied up with a municipal body to provide its free WiFi service, called ‘Google Station'.
PMC has tied up with Google as the Internet Service Provider and RailTel and Larsen & Toubro as the system integrators. The service will provide users in the vicinity of the hotspot with a connection with 512 kbps Internet feed with 50 MB data.
Unlimited data will be applicable to sites other than government websites.
The hotpsots are being launched as a beta project, which the PMC plans to expand to 400-500 hotspots and creating a connected grid across the city. The move comes as a part of the Smart City policy, which includes WiFi, Public Announcement Systems, Emergency Call Boxes, Environmental Sensors and Flood Sensors.
Kunal Kumar, PMC Commissioner, during a press conference on Thursday, said, "In April 2016, PMC witnessed 6 per cent online transactions. Last year, the number had gone up to 48 per cent. This project aims at digitisation of the city and to achieve complete digital literacy by 2020."
Rajendra Jagtap, CEO of Pune Smart City Development Corporation, said that the service will be secured through a strong firewall. He said, "Google will be collecting analytical data and will share it with PMC. PMC is also looking at monetisation options, where Google will share their revenue with PMC."
The project will cost the Smart City Corporation almost Rs 110 crore in expenditure towards setting up the system and Rs 35 crore in operational costs. Calling it an important achievement, Mayor Mukta Tilak, said, "This is a Republic Day gift by the PMC to Puneites."