Kerala’s own Internet network and service: KFON
Polity & Governance
5th Aug, 2022
Kerala becomes the only State in the country with its own internet service.
About Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON):
- Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) is a radical public-funded project conceived to ensure high-speed Internet access to an entire state.
- KFON has received both the Infrastructure Provider and Internet Service Provider (ISP) licenses from the Central government.
- The ambitious flagship project was launched in February, 2021.
- It is aimed to provide Internet connections to 20 lakh below-poverty-line (BPL) households in the State, and ensure universal Internet access and address the problem of digital divide.
- KFON Ltd is primarily an infrastructure provider for other ISPs operating in the State.
- Under the project, a venture of equal partnership between Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), 30,000 km of fibre optic cable will be laid connecting all parts of the State.
- The cable is being laid using the existing network of KSEB that has a network capacity of 2 lakh km in the State.
Major objectives of KFON:
- Create a core network infrastructure (information highway) with non-discriminatory access to all service providers so as they can augment their connectivity gap.
- Provide a reliable, secure and scalable intranet connecting all government offices, educational institutions, hospitals, etc.
- Partner with MSOs, TSPs, ISPs for providing free internet to economically backward households.
Benefits of KFON
KFON will complement the existing telecom ecosystem in the state and will act as the perfect catalyst positioning Kerala as a Gigabit Economy.
The following are some of the multiple benefits to be realized across the board.
- Bridge the digital divide by making internet access a basic right to citizens and enable the state government’s vision to provide free internet access to economically backward households.
- Deliver e-Governance to citizens through TSPs/ISPs/Cable operators by leveraging this network.
- Provide affordable and better broadband connectivity to households by the TSPs/ISPs/Cable operators due to a competitive market by leveraging this network.
- Boose economic growth by providing digital infrastructure support for local enterprises and SMEs and promoting Electronics and IT industry.
- Human capital development
- Deliver remote education
- Create job opportunities
- Enhance skills
- Prove remote healthcare access
- Infrastructure development
- Smart cities/ smart grids
- Transportation management
- Community Connect – Smart Village
- Sharing information and best practices (financial services, e-governance, agricultural techniques)
- Entertainment (IPTV, OTT, etc.)
- Creating connected communities (researchers, product development, anytime anywhere/ anytime collaboration)