Aiming at preventing the misuse of Wi-Fi connectivity by unauthorised users, the department of telecommunications has directed all telecom service providers to implement an online centralised authentication procedure for Internet subscribers.
In a notification on its website, DoT said all Internet and broadband subscribers using Wi-fi connectivity would need to get themselves registered with the respective telecom service providers for completing the centralised authentication procedure within 60 days.
There were about 14 million Internet subscribers and 6.62 million broadband subscribers at the end of June 2009, according to figures by telecom regulator Trai. Earlier in February, DoT had also raised concerns that Wi-Fi networks were being misused by anti-social elements.
The department had said insecure Wi-Fi networkswere capable of being misused without any trail of a user at a later date. In order to address this issue, it had asked all Internet service providers to follow certain procedures for secure use of Wi-Fi services under delicensed frequency band.
With terrorists using the open Wi-Fi networks for communicating, DoT and the Department of Information Technologyare jointly working out measures to check this growing misuse. DoT has been working on the security of Wi-Fi services in association with DIT since last year. The issue came to light after terror mails were sent via unsecured Wi-Fi connections before serial blasts in Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Wi-Fi enables user to access Internet without any physical connection and the network has a range of 120-300feet.
Wi-Fi is a class of wireless local area network devices based on the IEEE 802.11standards. Currently, a Wi-Fi device is installed in various personal computers, video game consoles, smartphones and laptops.