Free WiFi service in Bengal colleges soon

To make the students in the State more tech-friendly, the West Bengal Higher Education department has decided to launch free WiFi service in all government colleges in the State.

In the first phase, the service would be launched in 60 government colleges, the Education Minister, Partha Chatterjee said.

The government has already allotted funds worth Rs 25 crore to the University of Calcutta for developing the required infrastructure. After Sabuj Sathi cycles, Kanyashree scholarship, free shoes in primary schools, the free WiFi service in colleges is another feather in Bengal’s cap.

Admission procedure in colleges across the State are carried out online now.


সব কলেজে বিনামূল্যে ওয়াইফাই পরিষেবা দেবে রাজ্য

উচ্চশিক্ষার ছাত্রছাত্রীদের তথ্যপ্রযুক্তিমুখী করার পাশাপাশি বিনামূল্যে ইন্টারনেট পরিষেবা দেওয়ার জন্য সমস্ত সরকারী কলেজে ফ্রি ওয়াইফাই পরিষেবা চালু করার সিদ্ধান্ত নিল রাজ্যত সরকার।

শিক্ষামন্ত্রী পার্থ চট্টোপাধ্যায় জানান, “প্রথমে ৬০টি কলেজে এই পরিষেবা দেওয়া হবে।

ইতিমধ্যেই কলকাতা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়কে সরকারের তরফে এই পরিকাঠামো তৈরির জন্য ২৫ কোটি টাকা মঞ্জুর করেছে রাজ্য সরকার। সবুজ সাথী সাইকেল, কন্যাশ্রী স্কলারশিপ, প্রাথমিক বিদ্যালয়ে বিনামূল্যে জুতা প্রদানের পর কলেজে বিনামূল্যে ওয়াইফাই পরিষেবা অর্থাৎ বাংলার মুকুটে যুক্ত হল আরও একটি পালক।

সারা রাজ্যের সব কলেজে বর্তমানে অনলাইনে ভর্তির পরিষেবা চালু হয়ে গেছে।

Happy hours on WiFi Street

Kolkatans logged in merrily on Park Street on Friday, putting to rest all apprehensions about connectivity. Hundreds strolling down the party street, stopping over at restaurants or just passing through the area availed of the free Wi-Fi service launched on Thursday. Most were happy with the service.

Private firm employee Suparna Gupta happened to be on Park Street for a business lunch. The moment she walked out of the restaurant, Suparna remembered that she was in the Wi-Fi zone. She fished out her smartphone and scanned the Wi-Fi option. “And yes, there it was. The network asked me to type out my phone number and the moment I did, a password was SMSed to me. The network speed was good,“ she said.

Ankit Jain, a student, dropped in at a cafeteria for a quick cuppa. The moment he started fiddling with his phone, the Reliance Jionet icon popped up on his screen. “I logged in more out of curiosity . It worked pretty well,“ said Jain.

“It’s been fast and efficient so far,“ said Abhishek Ray , a blogger.


This article was originally published in The Times of India, 07.02.2015

WB CM launches ‘WiFi Kolkata’ with a groupfie

Kolkata is going to become the first fully Wi-Fi enabled city in India. WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated the first phase of the Wi-Fi services at Park Street.

High speed 4G Wi-Fi service is now available in Park street along with the adjoining areas from this evening. The rest of the city will be covered in a phased manner within the next three months. Salt Lake, Barasat, Rajarhat and Howrah will also be made Wi-Fi enabled, CM announced.

The launch event was attended by WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee, Honourable Mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee, ministers, MPs and representatives from Reliance group. The highlight of the launch was a ‘groupfie’ taken by WB CM

At the event, the Mayor of Kolkata made his foray into the world of Twitter with his first tweet using WiFi services:

Here are some pictures from the launch:

Fabulous response as Kolkata gears up to be India’s first Wi-Fi city

From students to professionals, restaurateurs to smartphone sellers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Wi-Fi plan has touched every Kolkatan.

Thanks to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s announcement of the roll-out of Wi-Fi service, Netizens are all geared up to take a big leap into the virtual world.

But they will have to wait a little longer – two months to be precise – before they can log on.

Reliance Jio, that will be offering the service, says they will begin the roll-out in March and cover the whole of Kolkata in a year.

To begin with, users will not have to pay anything for the first two months. And they can log on without much effort. All that they must do is click on the Wi-Fi option, after which they will receive an SMS asking their e-mail ID. A password will be mailed to them.

Park Street apart, Wi-Fi signal will be available in Loudon Street, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road and Mirza Ghalib Street. The rest of Kolkata will be covered in phases, according to Reliance JIO.

“We will expand the area in phases and that might take up to a year. We will offer 4G services and anyone with a Wi-Fi option in the device can log on. But even as we expand the area, we will launch schemes. So, you could expect free services for the first 4-5 months,” said a Reliance JIO spokesperson.

Park Street is excited about the roll-out.

Once it happens, you can log on to the Net from anywhere in the area – pavements, staircases or cafeterias. Flurys executive chef Vikas Singh believes it will change the perception about Kolkata. “In London, I have used hotspots where Wi-Fi is offered free and advertized. People tend to gather in these areas. That it is happening to Park Street, is a big thing. For a tea shop and confectionery like Flurys, it will obviously be great as our patrons are used to staying connected while on the go,“ said Singh.

Wi-Fi will free Net-users from the bondage of restricted connectivity promises to bring about a significant change, especially for youngsters. Students could be surfing the Net even in college corridors and canteens. “It will be so much easier with Wi-Fi. We won’t need to carry a dongle any more,“ said Srobona Basu, a St. Xavier’s student.

Tourists from abroad are delighted as well. “Free data services will obviously be a blessing for budget travellers like me. I guess hundreds of travellers will be benefitted for many check into hotels near Park Street where the service is going to be available. Voice calls are expensive so we look for cheap Internet access,” said Corline, a tourist from Canada.

Dealers of smart devices are looking forward to the roll-out with optimism. A Wi-Fi enabled city will definitely encourage more to log on to the Internet, they feel. But they also realize that the impact may not be immediate. “This is tailor-made for youngsters who love to stay connected on the move. Now everyone has a smartphone. More will now opt for larger Internet-enabled devices like tablets,“ predicted Pulkit Vaid, Director, Great Eastern Appliances.

Kapil Gupta, owner of Konnect, ­ another city electronic outlet, ­ felt connectivity could be an issue in the initial stages. “With so many logging in at the same time, the network can get clogged. Most potential users are Net subscribers already. So, they will be tempted to gauge the quality of service and also the charges. In case both are good, there’s no reason why people won’t be availing the service,“ said Gupta.

IIT-Kharagpur professor AN Samanta was upbeat with the prospect of a Wi-Fi environment, but he sounded cautious. “It will help those carrying smartphones and laptops, but security remains a concern. I hope the government will take care of security issues.”