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Country’s longest expressway from Agra to Lucknow to offer free Wi-Fi

The plan is to earn revenue to maintain the expressway and have a win-win pact with a private player by giving out leasing rights to lay OFC to offer free Wi-Fi.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 15, 2017, 11.09 PM IST
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UP govt has offered to lease out space for laying an optical fibre cable (OFC) along the six-lane expressway.
UP govt has offered to lease out space for laying an optical fibre cable (OFC) along the six-lane expressway.
NEW DELHI: Free Wi-Fi will soon be available on the entire 302-kilometre stretch of India’s longest expressway from Agra to Lucknow.

Nearly a year after the expressway was thrown open to the public by its predecessor, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has offered to lease out space for laying an optical fibre cable (OFC) along the six-lane expressway, officials said.

The plan is to earn revenue to maintain the expressway and have a win-win agreement with a private player by giving out leasing rights to lay OFC in order to offer free Wi-Fi facility along the entire stretch, they said.

This will also help UP have a world-class advanced traffic management system (ATMS) for the convenience and safety of motorists by way of traffic monitoring and event detection and speed enforcement through a network of CCTV cameras and phone helplines at every two kilometres on the expressway.

In a recent document for inviting bids, the UP government said: “The expressway offers exciting prospects for telecom industries as Uttar Pradesh is one of the most populous states of the country. Optical fibre is used by telecommunications companies to transmit telephone signals, internet communication, etc. The country is going through a massive digital transformation and a good OFC network will play a major role in it.”

The OFC network may be laid along the expressway, on top of power transmission lines along the expressway or using earth wire, it said.

The expressway, which so far has no eatery or petrol pump, will also soon get these facilities along its entire stretch. Two such facilities on each side of the expressway, 100 km apart, are coming up now. The UP government has specified that each of the eateries should have at least 10 global and domestic brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Barista, Dunkin’ Donuts and Haldiram in an exhaustive list submitted to prospective bidders.

“The expressway is expected to witness high volume traffic. The wayside amenities are located at prime locations on the expressway, easily accessible to the visitors/tourists. These places are bound to attract good number of daily footfall of customers and offers ample opportunities of the business,” the state government said in the bid document.

It further said: “As these wayside amenities are strategically planned and a host of facilities have been bundled together (e.g. refuelling stations, vehicle repair stations, etc.), the business proposition gets enhanced further. Since the expressway is access controlled and there are only two facilities (located approx. 100 km apart) in one direction, there is literally zero competition to these facilities. The chances of road users using this facility are very high.”

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