Recognising citizen's right
As the promised WiFi project in Delhi is said to take off by December with activation of hotspots, this key poll promise of the AAP-led Delhi government serves to direct one's attention to the necessity that internet is today and the various aspects of this necessity that are inextricably linked to a reasonable common life. At the cost of nearly Rs 100 crore per year to the state, the approved project of the Delhi government will ensure 11,000 hotspots put up across public places in Delhi. This specifically includes 4,000 bus shelters where the facility will be installed. With each hotspot covering a radius of 50 metres, and up to 200 people being able to simultaneously access the internet at such points, this initiative is a potential game-changer in the way the city functions as every unique user will be able to consume up to 15 GB data per month. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has said that the WiFi project, in its current form, remains the biggest initiative of its kind not just in India, but anywhere in the world. Other than bus stops, parks to mohalla clinics will also become free wireless internet zones under the government's initiative. The only pre-requisite to avail this facility is that the user must possess a smart phone; an OTP will then grant every user 15 GB of data on a monthly basis. With a limit of 200 users at each hotspot zone with WiFi at a speed of 200 mbps, the number of facilities that are enabled simply through a smart phone have led to a dramatic change in the lives of people. Right from public safety to groceries to assistance in education, handy access to internet have led to the kind of development in a common man's life that have facilitated a whole new level of basics. The right to Internet access, also known as freedom to connect, is the view that all people must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights; and certainly, it comes as a responsibility of the state to ensure that Internet access is broadly available. The southern state of Kerala has remarkably declared internet access a basic human right as the Kerala cabinet approved a Rs 1,548 crore Kerala Fibre Optic Network project to provide internet to every household in the state. Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac took to Twitter and expressed that internet connection has been made a basic right in the state. The cabinet has approved a Rs 1548 crore Kerala Fibre Optic Network project to provide internet to every household in the state. It would be free for 20 lakh BPL families. Whether or not for electoral motives given the upcoming Assembly elections, development once made are difficult to reverse. And this is to the credit of the Delhi government.