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Bhubaneswar pips Delhi, state buses to have WiFi by May end

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After Aam Aadmi Party’s declaration to make Delhi metro and DTC buses Wi-Fi enabled, a similar resolution has been adopted by the ruling BJD government in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Dream Team Sahara (DTS), which runs a public transport service with public-private-partnership (PPP) in Odisha, has decided to make Bhubaneswar buses Wi-Fi enabled.

“We have made all the 12 AC buses Wi-Fi enabled and will shortly roll out the free service for our passengers. The project is expected to begin by the third week of this month,” said DTS chief executive officer, Sudhansu Jena. “It will be a summer gift to AC bus passengers,” he added.

Currently, there are eight AC buses plying between Bhubaneswar and Puri and four inside Bhubaneswar. More than 4,000 passengers travel in these buses on a given day.

To improve the safety of passengers, the state government last week had ordered all the local bus operators to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. This step is also aimed to keep an eye on notorious bus drivers, staff and passengers.

Regional transport officer has to certify all the installations in the buses. The news of compulsory installation has since evoked mixed reactions from bus operators.

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Half The Global Population Uses The Internet: ITU Report

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness.

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Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

The International Telecommunication Union reports that for the first time in history, half of the global population is using the internet. A new report finds by the end of the year, 3.9 billion people worldwide will be online.

The report finds access to and use of information and communication technologies around the world is trending upwards. It notes most internet users are in developed countries, with more than 80 percent of their populations online. But it says internet use is steadily growing in developing countries, increasing from 7.7 percent in 2005 to 45.3 percent this year.

The International Telecommunication Union says Africa is the region with the strongest growth, where the percentage of people using the internet has increased from just over two percent in 2005 to nearly 25 percent in 2018.

Somalia, Population
A Somali man browses the internet on his mobile phone at a beach in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. VOA

The lowest growth rates, it says, are in Europe and the Americas, with the lowest usage found in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to data on internet usage, newly released statistics show mobile access to basic telecommunication services is becoming more predominant. ITU Senior Statistician, Esperanza Magpantay says access to higher speed mobile and fixed broadband also is growing.

“So, there is almost 96 percent of the population who are now covered by mobile population signal of which 90 percent are covered by 3G access. So, this is a high figure, and this helps explain why we have this 51 percent of the population now using the internet,” she said.

With the growth in mobile broadband, Magpantay says there has been an upsurge in the number of people using the internet through their mobile devices.

Nairobi, Population
Young men surf the internet at a cyber cafe on June 20, 2012 in Kibera slum in Nairobi.

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness. Unfortunately, it says the cost of accessing telecommunication networks remains too high and unaffordable for many.

Also Read: Global Care Crisis Rises Along With Growing Population

It says prices must be brought down to make the digital economy a reality for the half the world’s people who do not, as yet, use the internet. (VOA)