In another step towards transforming India into a digitally empowered society, Malpe beach in Udupi, Karnataka, has become the first beach in India to get free Wi-Fi connectivity. MLA Pramod Madhwaraj launched the 24×7 Wi-Fi connectivity at Malpe beach on January 24.
At present, free Wi-Fi is available for half-an-hour at the beach, but Madhwaraj says the hours of free wi-fi may be extended further.
The service is provided by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL). “It is a good news for youths. The present generation cannot live without internet or Wi-Fi access. Malpe beach is the first beach in India to have Wi-Fi facility, and this is a proud moment for all of us,” he said.
Malpe beach, is located in Udupi district in southern Karnataka and is visited by hundreds of tourists daily.
Known for its golden sand, Udupi attracts a large number of visitors to the district and now with round-the-clock Wi-Fi network, the number of tourists are expected to grow further. According to ‘Digital India’ initiative, the Centre is expected to provide the free public Wi-Fi service within this fiscal year to 256 more locations.
The Modi government has already announced its plans to set-up 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots at these 256 locations.
BSNL has partnered with the government to make this initiative possible. They hope that this will help take India’s Internet subscriber base from current 400 million to 500 million users by March 2017.
In 2015, Google had also partnered with the Indian Railways to set up Free public Wi-Fi services at 100 major train stations across India within 2016, while Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) signed an agreement with the RailTel
Corporation of India for starting Wi-Fi at Delhi Metro stations.