YouTube surfing favourite pastime in Shimla: Survey

Shimla, June 6 (IANS) YouTube surfing and chatting are the favourite pastimes of residents and tourists in the ‘Queen of Hills’, as Shimla was fondly called by the British colonial rulers.

This fact came to light during a survey carried out by the company that provided week-long free WiFi facility for the users on the historic Ridge, Shimla’s most famous promenade, that ended on Saturday.

The Shimla Municipal Corporation launched this facility as a pilot project.

Aura Ventures, Airtel and Airtight Inc deployed the trial WiFi network.

There were roughly 9,000 logins during the seven days, approximately 1,250 users per day, Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar told IANS.

At peak event time, he said, there were around 200 online users and nearly 70 users during lean hours.

Sometimes a bit of congestion was encountered due to the high usage as well as the relatively longer duration of free surf time, i.e. two hours per user, Panwar said.

The congestion was also due to only 40 mbps bandwidth as the backhaul link was on a Microwave Radio due to digging restrictions on the Ridge preventing a quick fibre deployment.

Overall the WiFi system was functional 99.5 percent of the time as no major outage was encountered, he added.

The service also covered some parts of Mall Road, which was once a ‘British only’ street for strolling.

Seven routers (access points) have been installed to provide WiFi service and the range of each router would be approximately 150 metres.

The state capital remains chock-a-block with tourists, especially during the peak tourist seasons — May-June and November-January.

According to tourism industry representatives, Shimla gets 20,000-30,000 tourists on an average every weekend during the peak season.

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