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Log in to Darjeeling with free Wi-fi

Calcuttans have something new to look forward to during their next holiday in Darjeeling. The Mall or Chowrasta, the promenade at the hill station popular among tourists, is set to become a free Wi-fi zone.

What is Wi-fi?

Wi-fi stands for Wireless Fidelity. It is a facility that allows digital devices within a particular area to connect to the Internet.

How will Wi-fi be useful?

A Wi-fi connection will provide tourists access to the Internet and all the benefits that it entails.

For example, a Calcuttan without a return ticket will be able to book a Bagdogra-Calcutta air ticket or buy a New Jalpaiguri-Sealdah train ticket online sitting at the Mall. He or she will not have to visit a cyber café or use the phone data connection, which is expensive while on roaming. Many hotels in Darjeeling do not offer Internet access.

When will Chowrasta become a Wi-fi zone?

Sonam Bhutia, the executive director in charge of the tourism department of the GTA, said on Wednesday that Chowrasta would become a Wi-fi zone in “two to three weeks”.

He did not specify the speed of the connection. The Wi-fi network will cover an area of about 300m.

How can tourists access Wi-fi?

They will have to enable Wi-fi on their phone or laptop or tablet and click connect when their device finds the network.

Do tourists need to know a password?

One can log in without a password, according to the GTA.

Will tourists be able to access Wi-fi free for as long as they want?

Yes, GTA executive Bhutia said. There is a downside, though. If no time or data limit is set for Wi-fi Internet access, then people might start downloading films and songs, thus slowing down the speed at which Internet is available to others.