Amdavad takes a step closer to becoming Smart City

Sunday, 15 December 2013 - 1:46pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
Civic body to provide public wi-fi connectivity to Amdavadis via PPP.

If things go to plan, Amdavadis would soon be able to browse the internet using public wi-fi in the city. As part of its aim to make Amdavad a Smart City, the state government wants citizens to stay connected with the world through the Net.

First, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) will launch a pilot project on a public-private partnership (PPP) model before bringing the entire city under the wi-fi umbrella.

“The pilot project will be launched in another three months. Based on the findings, the project would be implemented in a phased manner in the next financial year,” said DP Desai, deputy municipal commissioner of AMC’s e-governance project.

Chief minister Narendra Modi has asked all municipal corporations in the state to join the league of more than 100 cities across the world by offering municipal wi-fi connectivity. The urban development department has recently reminded the civic bodies of implementing the pilot project as early as possible.

AMC has shortlisted some places where the pilot project would be launched. These are Law Garden, Kankaria Lake, Vastrapur Lake, Bodakdev Garden, Parimal Garden, zonal offices and libraries, BRTS bus stops among others.

In the age of cybercrime, AMC’s major concern is security. “In any public wi-fi model, security is a major concern and controlled wi-fi access is a must. Even in case of free wi-fi, the user gets to access the network only after providing credentials according to the guidelines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),” said Desai.

The civic body, however, is yet to fine tune the modalities. “As the service will be provided on PPP model, we need to thrash out revenue sharing and other issues as well,” indicated Desai.

AMC needs to work out the financial viability of the project, too. Some private players provide wi-fi services in controlled access environment like malls and other public places but it is only for their customers, who are ready to share their access data.

Desai further stated that since more than 100 cities in the world provide municipal wi-fi, AMC, too, would learn the ropes from them. Plus, the civic body needs to tie up with telecom and internet service provider companies to make this ambitious project a success.

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