The Government of Punjab has officially launched 200 free Wi-Fi spots at five different cities allowing the people to access the free internet while being on-the-go.
These cities are Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Bahawalpur and along with them, Murree will also have 16 hotspots.
This internet service was launched at a ceremony held at the Arfa Kareem Software Technology Park by the Chief Minister of Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. Calling it a huge step towards digitizing Punjab, Shehbaz pressed the launch button and made the service available to the people of these cities.
He went on to say that the measures taken by the provincial government to promote IT and digitization have resulted in improved performances of various departments of the government.
In January 2017, these hotspots were installed and have been in the testing phase for the past four months. Each hotspot has the ability to cater 800 to 1,500 people depending on the intensity of usage at that particular location.
These hotspots will be providing the internet within 100 to 500 meters radius and will be having four to five access points. In order to use the web, the user would need to go through a simple registration process before. This procedure will require him to give his or her name, date of birth, profession, and mobile number.
After the information has been punched, the user will be allowed to use two hours of the internet within a day. For another two hours, the users would only need to provide their mobile numbers.
Every user will be allowed to use the internet for up to four hours in a day. The hotspots have a screen display as well that will reveal the total number of users connected to the hotspot at a given time. It will also show the bandwidth and data usage statistics.
This information will be provided to help the person in assessing the existing load on a particular hotspot.
The CM recalled an incident during his address in which free Wi-Fi service helped in saving the life of a patient at the Lahore General Hospital. The husband used the service to launch an appeal for blood for his patient wife and within a limited period of time, the blood was arranged saving the life of his wife.
He said that all the investment on the project will be considered returned even if a single life is saved. The purpose of the project is to make it easy to contact other people and to benefit the citizens.
While talking about other IT initiatives, he revealed that the Patwaris have been replaced with the Land Record Information Management System. This has eliminated corruption from the system and provided intense relief to the respective people.
Even the police stations have been digitized and the FIRs are now registered through a computer. IT labs have been set up in all the government schools of Punjab and soon, 50,000 tablets will also be distributed.
He finally concluded by saying that an IT university was already operating at the Arfa Kareem Technology Park but a new campus is being set up at Bedian Road. The land which is worth billions of rupees will be handed over to the VC Dr. Umer Saif who would be setting up the new campus within one year. This would be a great achievement in itself and the funds have already been allocated for this project.
Dr. Umer Saif who is the Chairman of Punjab Information Technology Board talked about the various initiatives taken to introduce e-governance and employment of IT in sectors like health, police, education etc. He said that the government of Punjab has brought revolution in numerous areas and at the end of the ceremony, PITB Chairman presented a shield to the Chief Minister for his services.
The head of the free internet project, Sajjad Ghani, and others also received similar recognitions from the CM himself.
- PITB punjab government: pitb