How many times have we seen this written?

 

So I was thrown out of class and told to sit in the college library. To my surprise, the library was “equipped with internet facility”. I was given an assignment to complete while I was there so I ventured into the “Internet Room” to get the answers.

As backed by a quick google search, the definition of facility is: a place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose.

Great! So the internet room of my college library is a place for a particular purpose- academic purpose. Fair enough. Except, I couldn’t get a thing done. It was a 60 KBps (read: slow) connection, shared by more than a dozen computers. On top of that, it had trouble loading even the lightest web pages. Case in point, the Mumbai University website.

 

Do I have to mention that I don’t get 3G coverage inside the library, and even if I did, mobiles are not allowed? So it’s not like, instead of complaining, I could have had my own internet connection. I do. But it doesn’t work that well inside big buildings.

Internet is a part of life for the most of us. It’s so well integrated in my life that it’s come to the point of me not noticing it’s there. Or at least, that’s the dream. Internet, to me, is not a facility. It’s just something that I need to get a multitude of things done. And I’m sure there are plenty of you who are like me.

What I’m trying to get at is, it’s time to let go of the idea of internet being a luxury, and embrace it as a part of life. Only then will internet become seamless. Increase in internet use by the general public can only be a good thing. If we’re aiming to become a superpower, a good internet infrastructure is definitely a big link of the chain, if not the key. We shouldn’t have to struggle to get connected.

 

There is nothing inherently wrong with the phrase “Internet facility”. But every time I see this phrase, it’s usually at

a conventional institution. And almost every time after using it, you wish you hadn’t. Why does that always have to be the case? Is it too much to ask for a decent internet connection? I understand that data costs money, but can we not see how much of a difference internet connectivity makes?

 

If we all agree that the internet is an important tool and that the internet is here to stay, why is it so bad to have a Wifi connected campus?


Ideally, if I’m a city dweller, I should be able to quickly look up things on the go. I should be able to stream videos when I’m in some form of public transport. Also, it would be nice if I could have some internet goodness during breaks in college or from anywhere like, the wifi of my college, irrespective of what the data is. If I write some code during the practicals, I want to be able to take that code home so I could review it. Preferably, I’d want my data to be on the cloud so that I could access it from anyplace,at any time. All of this is possible only if we invest more in public internet access. Or some form of it. I’m not saying it has to be free, but it has to be there and at least be affordable.

 


The public wifi scenario in Mumbai is gaining some momentum, and I can’t wait for the day when most parts of Mumbai are wifi connected.

 

Check out this free-wifi map by MumbaiBoss :

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmumbaiboss.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F04%2FWifiMapFINAL.pdf  .

 

Basically, most of the places where you get Wifi are malls and cafes. There’s wifi at places like Shivaji Park as well, and not to forget the Metro stations. Although, the wifi login process in Metro wifi is buggy, it is still a commendable effort.  


What do you guys think? Am I being too first-world in asking for internet connectivity everywhere? Or has it become somewhat of a necessity given today’s times?