Kerala Government has issued an administrative sanction for the KFON project.
The State of Kerala has declared internet as a basic right for the citizens. Kerala state will now work to provide high-speed internet to the residents of the state. The cabinet has decided to draw an administrative sanction on the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON). The new sanction pegs the project at Rs 1,548 crore and this massive undertaking by the government will be aimed at providing high speed internet at a subsidised rate to the 20 lakh citizens.
The new project is going to be a joint venture between KSEB & Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd, KFON and it is estimated to be completed by December 2020. The KFON project will also help the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the area and the Cable TV operators to provide better service with the help of a wider cable network. 30,000 Government institutions and educational institutions will also be connected.
KFON project would also give a push in the IT sector including machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain and IoT startups are going to be helped with the implementation of the this project. The Digitization of Government services would also happen with the implementation of the new KFON project. The airports and coastal ports would also be connected via fibre under KFON.
Kerala has already declared that internet, being a basic necessity should be accessible by all. However, the poor sections of the society do not have a way to access internet services given their situation with the affordability of such services. At the same time, the United Nations (UN) had remarked that everyone should have access to internet so that they have freedom of expression and opinion. It is also worth noting that Kerala has the highest literacy rate of all Indian states.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac remarked internet connection made a basic citizen right. Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) Project to provide the internet to every household in the state. For 20 Lakh BPL households it will be free. The Government does not only plan to provide fibre connectivity throughout the state, but it also want to install Wi-Fi hotspots across the state as well.