Thrikaripur, which has a place in Kerala’s history for more reasons than one, is all set to add yet another feather to its cap on Monday when 20 per cent of its 42,000-strong population gets access to free Wi-Fi.
The remaining population would be covered within three months.
“This service would be launched on Monday. To start with, free Wi-Fi access would be available in a two kilometre radius [from the base station]. In another three months the service would cover our entire village council. We understand that we are the first village council in the country to go into free Wi-Fi mode,” Thrikaripur grama panachayat president A.G.C. Basheer said.
The Thrikaripur area is where Kerala’s first Communist-led peasant rebellion took place in the early 1940s and the then British rulers hanged four young men for their role in the uprising.
It is also the place from where legendary CPI-M veteran E.K. Nayanar, who was thrice the chief minister, was elected twice. And, from the beginning of 2015, the Trikaripur village council would become a paperless e-office.
Basheer said Thrikaripur is essentially a commercial centre and its traders do most of their business in Bengaluru.
“Many of those from here who travel to Bengaluru told us about Wi-Fi and we decided to find out about it. We talked to many IT experts and then appointed a consultant who gave us the directions to install it. Trial runs have been successful and on Monday, we would go live,” said Basheer, adding that the service will be provided though the optical fibre network of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
Intending users have to log into the webpage of Thrikaripur village council from their mobile phones. A password is provided to access the internet. To prevent misuse, access is provided for only 15 minutes. The process then has to be repeated all over again after a 10-minute gap.
T.M.C. Ebrahim, a state government employee, expressed happiness at the service.
“After I came to know about this, I checked up with people who are well versed in the field and they said since Trikaripur comes under the BSNL’s optical fibre network, things will be fine,” Ebrahim said.
The Wi-Fi base centre will operate from a building owned by the village council and costs Rs300,000 (Dh17,945), which was raised internally. The council would also incur a recurring monthly expenditure of Rs5,000.