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Kerala govt. clears K- Fon project

It will provide free high speed Internet connection for the poor

The government has officially cleared the K-Fon project aimed at providing free high speed Internet connection to over 20 lakh BPL families in Kerala. The State Cabinet which met here on Wednesday accorded administrative sanction for the ₹1548 crore project which will also provide Net connectivity at affordable rate for families which do not fall in the BPL bracket.

The scheme is being implemented with financial assistance from the KIIFB as part of an ambitious programme to ensure all citizens have access to Internet. It envisages a State-wide optical fibre network to be set up by Kerala State Electricity Board Limited and Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited to link houses and offices.

A consortium led by Bharat Electronics Limited had bagged the bid for the ambitious project to be completed by December 2020. The fibre optic network was one of the major announcements in the LDF election manifesto and the State’s IT policy.

Licenced Internet service providers and cable TV operators can utilise the optic fibre network to provide services to citizens.

A note issued by the Chief Minister’s Office on the Cabinet decision said the K-Fon project would open the possibility for the State to take a giant leap in the IT sector, with major gains in the Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things and startup domains.

As many as 30,000 government offices and educational institutions would be linked through the high speed network. It would also give a push to the digitalisation of government services like the e-health programme. IT parks, airports and seaports would also be benefited from the linkage.

Small scale enterprises using e-commerce platforms stand to gain from K-Fon. High quality video conferencing and transport management are other significant advantages. The K-Fon fibre optic network will also link all mobile towers in the State for better mobile Internet services.

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