Free ‘easy’ WiFi

By Diksha Punjabi (Student of Post-Grad in Journalism, class of 2014-2015)

The wave of politicians who are providing WiFi spots across the city has been joined by Bandra MLA Baba Siddique. He has taken the initiative to make free internet easily accessible to the youth at Linking Road (R.D National College, MMK, TS Engineering College and GJ Advani Law College), Bandstand and Carter Road from September 1. And one month after the installation of the facility, it seems to be fairly popular.Similar facilities have been provided at Shivaji Park by Shiv Sena and Bandra Station by Adv. Ashish Shelar, BJP.However, at Linking Road, it is difficult to spot the connection and it takes more than 30 minutes to connect.

The process of registering is also slightly cumbersome, with the user having to submit his name and phone number to connect with the free public WiFi, a necessary step to get verification. Registration provides a code, which should be added to connect to the WiFi. The codes with a message of ‘happy browsing by Baba Siddique’.It is tricky because even after you register your number you may not get connected to the WiFi. Another drawback is that this leaves one open to random Congress party notifications when you use the network. Authentication is automatic, once the WIFI registers your presence.

However, there is no guarantee that connection is swift. “Even after submitting my username and phone numbers, I’m not able to connect to the WiFi,” says Peter Stephen, a resident of Bandra West.The MLA has provided a 16 Mbps line with free access as ‘Baba_siddique@yr_service’, through his social organization, ‘BandraKruz’.The Congress claimed to have 5,000 users at each hotspot registered in the initial nine days. The question is how many could easily access the network?

The initiative has been taken to target the youth of the H-west ward and the WiFi connection has been provided around the colleges for students to use the network for academic usage and also be socially active, there is no political agenda behind this” says Siddique. He adds that keeping privacy issues in mind, there is no external force to monitor or keep a backup of any of the users’ browsing history. A few sites and anti-social sites have been blocked by the service provider.

Also, no user is allowed to make any kind of payment from the WiFi. In case the user has been noted breaking the terms and condition of the service, they will automatically be deactivated from the network.Costs for running the service and the maintenance will be paid by the MLA and his party.The user can only use 10GB data per month and achieve download speed of up to 1Mbps/s. The service is free for now, but this can change without prior notice, the T&C mentions. However, no-one seems unduly worried about this – for now!

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  • Odell is a Digital Marketing enthusiast and specializes in Content Marketing, Paid Advertising, Social Media Marketing & much more. He is also the Digital Marketing Manager at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education & founder of Rightly Digital, an online platform that helps people achieve their marketing goals

Free ‘easy’ WiFi
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