The Government of Punjab has introduced Pakistan’s first free public WiFi network across the three bigger cities: Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan.
Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has installed around 192 hotspots at different locations in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan. Moreover, free internet coverage is also being provided at an additional five hotspots in the range of at least 2 km across the Murree Mall Road.
These hotspots would provide free internet to over 160,000 internet users for four hours each day. PITB plans to take a more rigorous approach to curb the misuse and internet and surfing of potentially offensive content.
These hotspots have already been installed and set up at their respective locations. The PTIB team is currently examining the operation and ensuring smooth running of the process after its official launch. The project is expected to be formally launched this month, according to Sajjad Ghani of PITB. However, it’s already operational for testing and evaluation purposes.
Out of the total 192 Wifi hotspots, 115 have been placed at different locations in Lahore, 47 in Multan and 30 in Rawalpindi. In Lahore, some of these hotspots have been installed at recreational zones, including: Jillani Park and the Model Town Park. Furthermore, free internet service would also be available at public hospitals, Alhamra Arts Council, Allama Iqbal International Airport, railway station, all metro stations and other public spots across the city.
Each WiFi point, depending on the traffic, would provide free internet services to around 800 to 1500 users in the zone. Each hotspot is designed to have 4 to 5 access points to ensure sustainable internet coverage. The full range that can be covered by each hotspot is about 100 to 500 meters.
Mr. Sajjad Ghani, Director Information Technology Infrastructure at PITB, told the mediapersons about the initiative.
“To use the internet at any of the hotspot points, the user would have to go through a simple registration procedure. It would only require their name, date of birth, profession and mobile number. A registered user would be able to use the internet for two hours in a go on any day. For another two hours, the user would only need to provide his or her mobile number.”
Mr. Ghani further added:
“Each WiFi hotspot will have 1 MB of dedicated connectivity. The connection is being provided by PTCL, which won its tender. The purpose of the installing these hot-pots is to keep people connected with the world and provide them real time information of their choice.”
image: UET Tribune