Can we really dream of having a free wifi-coverage around the island?

On the 16th August 2011, the minister of Information and Technology announced the installation of free wifi areas around the island. These wifi hotspots will be placed around governmental buildings such as municipalities, village councils, bus terminals and even beaches!

As per the announcements made,

  • The wifi antennas will offer a 1km coverage wide
  • Users won’t be able to abuse the system through mass downloading.
  • Investment of Rs5.2 million for the installation and Rs10,000 monthly
  • 10 such areas (including 1 in Rodrigues) will be operational in December 2011 for a pilot phase of this project.

Yes, this sounds exciting to get free access to internet through your mobile, laptop or even Kindle while waiting for your turn in the hospital or while waiting for your bus. CarrotMadman6 also wrote on this topic a few days back.

Factors that will determine its success :

  • Bandwidth available
  • Support (Whom will we call? Orange? or some governmental call center lol)
  • Coverage efficiency
  • Security and privacy issues while connecting to a public network.

A few side notes : Everyone knows there’s free internet available in the labs of The University of Mauritius. It is either effing slow or not working! Everyone surely remember about the cheaper wimax powered Nomad? We are a cyber island, but yet, there’s only one company with a monopole over the internet connection. Or how instead of price going down, they just double the speed to be able to cover their costs?

Its not about boasting about the “wifi-free island”, but rather about its efficiency and effectiveness among others, else it would be like having free transport for students and our elders and hundreds of complaints registered.

What do you think?

Update (10 September 2013)

Some months earlier, I wrote another article with a list of free wifi spots in the island, including those wifi areas talked above. Unfortunately, as “promised”, these wifi zones are not 1 km wide but much less. From personal experience, the speed is satisfactory and reliable.

Read more on the post.

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  • I admit, I haven’t thought about the security implications. Anyway, you shouldn’t be logging into any service using public wifi.

    Facebook & Twitter (n00b) users beware! – http://codebutler.com/firesheep

  • Anonymous

    It is inevitable that there will be problems in the beginning, either technical or organizational. I see this as a first phase where, hopefully, the teething problems will be rectified. I believe these WiFi hotspots will offer a free facility aimed at providing a one-off service for visitors, shoppers, etc. It will enable people to consult information while visiting the area but it is not appropriate for lengthy connections. I guess that security will be minimal and that this will be left to the users responsibility.

  • I was able to trace back other devices IP/machine types etc from my Android on the MQB wi-fi. Security is a key factor but also reliability. Trying to check my mails and twice the connection just drop! Being in testing phase I hope things will be improved. 

  • scout unit 1

    low security in a wireless network, hahaha, it will be like strolling in the middle of a battlefield with bullets shooting out of every direction…..
    and there might even be a veteren or elite sniper hidding behind the bushes….

  • Winshaye

    I think MT should take a look at the quality if his paid services first…

  • TL

    Bocoup announcememnt in fer depi bien longtemp. mais kan pu met en place, lerla ki to pu trouv tou kaliter condition et drawback. mo pa dir ene mauvais zaffer,mais bane annonce populaire la nepli marcher aster..surtout du coter information and technology

  • @Yashvin, update your title from “a free wifi-coverage” to “a free [strong]broadband[/strong] wifi-coverage”.

  • lol. Better not to put expectations too high so that we dont get deceived 🙂
    What do you say?

  • b si kumsa, lerla bizin dir govt. la:
    [blockquote]
    prend li pou twa. Si tou zafer pu reste faille, b ki pu fer ar sa? prend dpi so tv (mbc) vine dpi so inet connectivity…pffff.. ena dimal ladan.
    [/blockquote]

  • Tushal

    Imagine you’re using the free wifi and there is a Selven sitting somewhere. 😀 By the time you get home, you will lose all the passwords. xD

    ANd it will be EPIC Slow. . For a paid service the speed is bullsh!t during peak hours. Now imagine a free internet. This will turn into the wifi at UOM. 99% of the time, DOES NOT WORK.

  • Tushal

    Imagine you’re using the free wifi and there is a Selven sitting somewhere. 😀 By the time you get home, you will lose all the passwords. xD

    ANd it will be EPIC Slow. . For a paid service the speed is bullsh!t during peak hours. Now imagine a free internet. This will turn into the wifi at UOM. 99% of the time, DOES NOT WORK.

  • Tushal

    Imagine you’re using the free wifi and there is a Selven sitting somewhere. 😀 By the time you get home, you will lose all the passwords. xD

    ANd it will be EPIC Slow. . For a paid service the speed is bullsh!t during peak hours. Now imagine a free internet. This will turn into the wifi at UOM. 99% of the time, DOES NOT WORK.

  • Indeed. The idea of having Selven or (@carrotmadman6:disqus ) seated besides me isn’t assuring at all… However, I dont mind having @456c569b4d9dbb879eda873e3de22144:disqus somewhere around me 🙂

  • Indeed. The idea of having Selven or (@carrotmadman6:disqus ) seated besides me isn’t assuring at all… However, I dont mind having @456c569b4d9dbb879eda873e3de22144:disqus somewhere around me 🙂

  • Indeed. The idea of having Selven or (@carrotmadman6:disqus ) seated besides me isn’t assuring at all… However, I dont mind having @456c569b4d9dbb879eda873e3de22144:disqus somewhere around me 🙂

  • LOL :p

  • Papijoon

    “L’accès à Internet doit être un droit fondamental pour chaque citoyen. a dit le premier ministreje pense que la municipalité de port louis devarait installer a d ndes endroits dites pauvres  pas dans la ville exemples des faubourg  cassis bain des dames valle pitot ect pas a coter de la municipaliter 

  • Arose

    same as RHT bus free wifi does not work on some busses

  • Anonymous

    free wifi in RHT bus too…

  • Yeah, I just read about that. However, we already got a feedback here from @46056abbc55708cacc50fd44fc5898a7:disqus who mentioned that the wifi does not always work lol.

  • Knowing how noobs most Mauritians are, this scheme looks like password harvest galore. Between, we can dream of free WiFi coverage, but not of fast free WiFi coverage. 😀

  • scout unit 1

    not just passwords dude…….

  • Sundeep R.

    I couldnt not react here.

    wifi coverage like this one i’ve designed many. i have also responded to this tenderin the past. flawless design. flawless equipment. however i admit it wasnt a cheap solution.

    we can definitely provide this solution, bandwidth is no issue there are several ways to optimise bandwidth usage. such projects exist already in many countries,some investment is required though.

    Security also is no biggie, nowadays solutions exist to offer tight security at the lowest to highest levels.

    we have recently proposed a solution similar like this one to uom. should we get the peoject, u’ll soon get a glimpse of the solution am talking about.

  • Avnish

    No penser r sa kantiter dimoune ki pu servi sa faciliter la…B arrive 1 certain l’heure li pu saturer net. Enfin comme sandeep p dir ena facon pu renforci banwidth…bein attendons!!! Nou pa capav prononce nou lor la avan ki nu conner exactement ki li pu eT!!

  • Avnish

    The wi-fi connection will be allowed only for surfing and e-mail checking!! No downloads etc.. Pfff

  • Fortunately no downloads.
    Else you will everyone eating up the bandwidth, which is already limited.

  • Inf

    Ok a few interesting points:

    – 1 km coverage area for Wifi. I’ve never heard of this. I know there’s long-range Wifi and directional high-gain antennas out there and WiMax that can provide large-area coverage but with Mauritius’ landscape of mountains, trees and buildings, 1 km is a bit farfetched.

    – No mass downloading? How is it measured? What is “mass downloading”? Does streaming HD content from Youtube count as mass-downloading? What if I am downloading a big personal file from cloud storage?

    – Rs. 10,000 monthly? For what?

    – What if my house is close to a Wifi antenna and I can access it. Is it allowed?

    – Security issues: How are users granted access to the service? Authentication? How is billing done? Also, how will they cater for security, taking into consideration that a number of apps (especially mobile ones) send private data in cleartext. As others have mentioned, Selven (and others) would probably have access to your “private” Facebook album soon…

    – Bandwidth shouldn’t be a real issue if Government decides to put the cash on the table. Load balancing, QoS and traffic engineering are common nowadays. As long as they don’t include deep-packet inspection too, it should probably be ok.

  • I must say I really  like it. Your imformation is usefull. Thanks for share.

  • Praneel

    I thinks you should learn how to speak proper English before even attempting to considere trying your pen at it, just my two cents.

  • Praneel

    in case the moderator accepts my comment, which I think he/she will feel uneasy to, the “s” in “think” was a wink at the fantastic grammar rule application of the author!

  • Unfortunately, I did not graduate from a BA English (or French) degree but nevertheless, I think that I succeed in spreading my message without any problem. This said, you should perhaps stick to bigger news website which have dedicated teams to proof-read and correct grammatical errors, thus delivering a perfect English text.

  • The moderator approved it.

    You are the only one who can really say if that ‘mistake’ was intentional or a pure on your behalf.

    Anyway, thanks for being sincere 😉

  • btw, ‘consider’ is written without an ‘e’ at the end.Cheers!