Lahore: The Punjab government has announced to permanently end free Wi-Fi in public places across province, depriving thousands of students and research scholars from the facility. According to the details, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had initiated the project of providing free internet service to public at 200 different places back in 2017.
The project, costing Rs. 195 million annually, was set-up to provide easy, free and reliable internet facility to public in order to bridge digital gap. Reportedly, the decision has been taken in order to get rid of the heavy subsidy government had to pay for its provision to public. Even at the beginning of last year, the Wi-Fi facility was temporarily shut down due to non-payment of dues to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd. (PTCL).Government had set up 250 free Wi-Fi hotspots in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Multan. The facility of free Wi-Fi was available at Lahore Airport, Metro Bus Station, Lahore Railway Station and other public places.