The Aam Aadmi Party government is planning to provide free Wi-Fi internet access on the basis of limited data usage to the people of New Delhi.

The plan to give free WiFi access was among the original poll promises of the AAP but the new plan is that the service will now be given on the basis of limited data usage, and not based on a time limit.

The plan will be implemented by February next year.

According to a senior official, the government will release an expression of interest by a request for proposal in June with the work to be awarded by July. Around 150 companies from around the world have expressed interest, the official said.

Within the WiFi service, browsing websites, social media, email and WhatsApp will remain free and users will only have to pay for watching videos, video chats and downloading content.

Officials said they will look to ensure a minimum internet speed of 512 kbps and the government is considering fixing the data usage to 50 MB per day. But a call is yet to be taken in that regard.

“We will not fix a time but will restrict bandwidth. Internet will be charged on the basis of data usage per day. Once the data limit is exhausted, users can avail the service by paying for extra usage. The system will be reset daily,” parliamentary secretary for this job, Adarsh Shastri, said.

The Information Technology department is in the process of identifying 1,000 places along with the Ground Water Survey and Development Agency for setting up hotspots in the first phase of implementation.

As it is a public Wi-Fi, it will be available only at public places. An access point (AP) covers a 50 sq.m area, so multiple APs will be installed in one area.