According to the Union Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the State-run BSNL has embarked an investment worth Rs 830 crore for various projects in the state of Odisha, half of which will be spent on the broadband network project, NOFN.
"During the current financial year a project outlay of Rs 830 crore has been earmarked for BSNL Odisha for various projects including the Rs 400 crores earmarked for NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network)", said the Minister while inaugurating wifi hotspot zone created by BSNL at Lord Jagannath Temple.
The launch is part of government project to provide wifi service at historical monuments. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state minister Pranab Prakash Das were also present at the function.
The wifi facility has been created by BSNL with the optical fiber backbone which can provide backhaul broadband bandwidth of up to 100 MB per second.
BSNL will provide free Wi-Fi service for 30 minutes per 24 hours, limited to three times in a month, which visitors can utilise in multiple sessions.
"After free usage limit of 30 minutes is exhausted, a customer can continue using the service on paid basis for which subscription plans are available in the denomination of Rs 30, Rs 50, Rs 90 and Rs 150 for validity of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes and one day respectively," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said.
BSNL has already extended similar wifi facility in the world famous Sun Temple, Konark, in Odisha.
"In the initial phase already 12,500 lines have been replaced and during 2015-16, 12,750 lines have been planned to be installed," Prasad said.
He also inaugurated a new BSNL building at Bhubaneswar which has been constructed at a project cost of approximately Rs 17 crore.
Prasad further said that BSNL is replacing 30 years old switching technology with the latest Next Generation Network (NGN) technology.
The minister mentioned that BSNL plans to commission 372 2G mobile sites and 193 3G BTS (mobile towers).
Under the NOFN project, BSNL has plans to cover 3,369 village panchayats in 167 blocks this fiscal.