Monkey threat facing India’s wi-fi revolution

India’s $18 billion plan to spread the information revolution to its provinces faces problems including electricity shortages, badly planned cities – and monkeys.

VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA (APRIL 3, 2015) (ANI)- Nestled on the banks of the river Ganges, India’s northern temple town of Varanasi is in the grip of a monkey crisis.

The city, also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, gets a large number of tourists, both domestic and foreign, everyday due to its religious significance.

But the holy town is grappling with frequent breakdown of internet services caused by monkeys biting through the wires.

“I am trying to get wi-fi, but I could not get it, so it is like hard to get wi-fi. I really want to text my mom and text my sister. That is a problem I am facing,” said Melisa, a tourist from Holland on Friday (April 3).

The monkeys in Varanasi are seen as an avatar of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman and are considered sacred.

The city of over 2 million people is impossibly crowded and laying underground cables everywhere is out of the question.

Chasing away or trapping the monkeys will outrage residents and temple-goers.

A senior engineer with Telecommunication Department, A.P Srivastav, says there are plans to lay some optical cable wire underground to deal with the situation.

“There is an immense monkey menace. They bite the wires and the signal gets disrupted. It happens very often. We have laid down optical cable wire underground till the banks which has resolved half the problem, but at this point of time it is not possible to do so everywhere across the banks. So, we take it above head and also deal with monkeys,” said Srivastav.

A pipeline around the banks to lay down wires is also an option the department is considering.

The local administration provides free wi-fi service to the locals and tourists around the Ganga banks.