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Free Wi-Fi at Taj Mahal from 16th June

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Lucknow:  The visitors at the Taj Mahal will get free Wi-Fi Internet facility across the sprawling campus for 30 minutes, from June 16.

Any browsing or usage like downloading, surfing after this period would invite charges at Rs.30 an hour, a Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) official said.

Chief General Manager of BSNL (UP-West) Pradeep Kumar told IANS that the trials have been completed and the service will be launched by Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad in Agra on June 16.

He informed that while bandwidth is being provided by BSNL, the system integrator – Quadgen, a Bengaluru based company – is providing the wireless support.

Due to security and other reasons, the ASI has only permitted the Wi-Fi availability in a radius of 30 metres from the main gate of the Taj Mahal, officials further said.

Millions of domestic and foreign tourists visit the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Officials said there were frequent complaints from tourists, specially foreigners about the lack of Wi-Fi facility.

Following this, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) requested the BSNL to work on the project, to start the facility in the complex.

Wi-Fi Internet facility at public places in Agra is currently available only at the Agra Cantonment railway station.

If the trial at the Taj is successful, BSNL plans to extend the facility to Fatehpur Sikri as well.
(IANS)

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Cuba Gets Nationwide Internet For A Day

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet.

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Internet companies support an economy-wide, national approach to regulation that protects the privacy of all Americans. VOA

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries. State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial, with Tuesday marking the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, considered the country’s social media pioneer, raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a “citizen’s victory.”

A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Havana
A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Havana. VOA

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

“This is marvelous news because we can talk with family abroad without going to specific WiFi spots, there is more intimacy,” said taxi driver Andres Peraza.

Forty percent of Cubans have relatives living abroad.

Leinier Valdez, one of a group of young people trying to connect, said, “this is great. Its better and more so when you can connect for free.”

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30.

The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But ETECSA is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes.

Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.
Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.

Whether because of a lack of cash, a long-running U.S. trade embargo or concerns about the flow of information, Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access. Until 2013, internet was largely only available to the public at tourist hotels on the island.

But the government has since made boosting connectivity a priority, introducing cybercafes and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots and slowly starting to hook up homes to the Web.

Long before he took office from Raul Castro in April, 58-year-old President Miguel Diaz-Canel championed the cause.

Also Read: Android Development and Data Analysis- Bloodlines of The Internet Industry

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet. VOA

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