To provide free WI-Fi to remote villages in Uttarakhand, the State Government will use tethered aerostats.
The first such aerostat was launched at IT Park in Dehradun on a pilot basis in the presence of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Technology provided by IIT-Bombay, the six-meter-long aerostat can float in the air for 14 days, said Director of State’s Information Technology Development Agency Amit Sinha.
Each aerostat is worth Rs 50 lakh to set-up and can provide internet up to 7.5 km with the download speed of 5 Mbps. “Anyone in the range will be able to connect to the Wi-Fi which will be free initially. Anybody will be able to log in without a password,” added the director.
Currently, 680 of 16,870 villages in the state lack mobile connectivity or internet. This technology will be used in remote areas that are not connected to the internet, said the minister at the launch.
The Chief Minister also cited the example of Ghes village in Garhwal where ITDA recently set-up a solar-powered Wi-Fi network.
Aerostat technology can be used for surveillance in emergency situations and real-time monitoring to guide search and rescue operations, added the director.