Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT), the fourth largest wired broadband service provider in India “believes in radical social transformation,” says Bala Malladi, chief executive officer at ACT. Malladi told TelecomTalk that the company seeks to empower “individuals with access to high speed data,” with ACT “working to fulfil” its vision through the Hy-Fi project. The Telangana government in partnership with ACT, the company offering wired broadband service under ACT Fibernet launched over 3000 hotspots in Hyderabad as part of the Hy-Fi project in early August.
Hy-Fi Project Can Be Replicated Across India: Malladi
The project enables users to browse the internet “free” for 45 minutes at 25 Mbps speed till 1GB data. Malladi said that the Hy-Fi project in Hyderabad is a “great model that can be replicated” across India to “speed up internet adoption” in the country.
“For the first time, the state government of Telangana has implemented a project of this magnitude to provide internet connectivity to its citizens,” Malladi told TelecomTalk. “We are looking forward to developing a stronger Wi-Fi-enabled ecosystem and contribute to bridging the gap of the digital divide in cities where we are present in.”
The chief executive officer at ACT said that the COVID pandemic “forced everyone to go online” for various reasons including schooling, e-health and to access government services.
“However, one of the biggest challenges that persist in the society is the huge digital disparity,” Malladi said. “While a lot of people may have access to phones and [the] internet, high-speed internet where you could connect seamlessly to complete your everyday tasks became a challenge.”
Malladi said that the company “tried to bridge this gap” and thus “worked on the Hy-Fi project” to “harness the full power of broadband by making it available, accessible, and usable to all members of the society.”
Stable, Robust Internet Connection Not Just Essential But A Lifeline: Malladi
The users seeking to access the internet beyond the free 45 minutes are required to activate the top-up plans priced at Rs 25 and Rs 50 exclusive of taxes.
“Getting permissions, setting up spaces, and developing infrastructure to install the hotspots were indeed challenging but with the support of the Telangana government, we executed the project smoothly,” Malladi said.
The pack priced at Rs 25 enables users to access the internet for 60 minutes at 25 Mbps speed till 2GB. Further, the top-tier pack enables users to browse the internet for three hours at 25 Mbps speed till 4GB.
“With the pandemic crisis raging, we realized how deeply internet connectivity can impact lives and [the] economy,” Malladi said. “With digital technologies increasingly being at the heart of the business and everyday interactions, having limited internet access often hinders access to basic needs and services.”
It has to be noted that the existing ACT Fibernet users can log in to the Hy-Fi portal with their ACT credentials with the consumed data “counted from their monthly data plan.” The public WiFi hotspots in Hyderabad are said to be located across malls, hospitals, metro stations, public parks and educational institutions.
Malladi said that a “stable and robust internet connection is not just essential but is a lifeline” and that the company has been “pushing boundaries” and ensuring that its service is “seamless.”
“Even though we have made significant progress in internet speed over the last decade, there is still a large scope of growth and innovation which we will be focusing on to meet our customers' demand and provide them with a superior customer experience,” Malladi said.