Imran Khan’s PTI shuts down free Wi-Fi project in Pak’s Punjab

LAHORE: The much-touted Wi-Fi project launched by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2017, has been shut down on Saturday by Imran Khan‘s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Pakistan’s Punjab province including its capital Lahore after heavy annual losses.
Citing sources, the Express Tribune reported that the project was costing Rs 195 million annually, causing a heavy dent to the provincial exchequer.
The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) had been providing free internet service at public places for the last several years, while the project was started to provide the facility at over 200 Wi-Fi hotspots in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.
In January 2019, the project was suspended due to non-payment of dues to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). However, the service was restored later following a public backlash. The closure of the project was affecting a large number of students as well as many other common citizens of the province, The Express Tribune reported.
The project was scrapped last year and now the board, in collaboration with the Punjab government, was considering various proposals to provide sustainable Wi-Fi facility to the citizens, PITB officials said.

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