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 What is KFON?

  • Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), through which Internet connections would be provided free of cost to 20 lakh below-poverty-line (BPL) families.

  • The project is aimed at ensuring universal Internet access and narrowing the digital divide, which has become especially acute after the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • UN had passed a resolution recognising Internet access as a basic human right.

  • Kerala announced that access to the Internet would be a basic right in the State, becoming the first State in the country to do so.


How is the government running the network and providing services?

  • The cabling works, stretching to 34,961 km, piggybacks on the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) existing infrastructure. 

  • KFON Limited is, in fact, a joint venture of the KSEB and the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL).

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) granted KFON an infrastructure provider (IP) licence and also approved it as an internet service provider (ISP).


How is the government running the network and providing services?

  • About 22 of a total of 48 fibres will be used for the network’s own operations, with the KSEB also using some. 

  • The rest can be leased out.

How will the plan be rolled out?

  • The aim was to provide Internet connections to 14,000 BPL families, with 100 each from the State’s 140 assembly constituencies in the first phase.


How will the plan be rolled out?

  • The panchayats and the urban local bodies were given the responsibility of choosing the beneficiaries.

  • As of now, Internet connection has been provided to 7,000 BPL families across the State.

  • Each household will get 1.5 GB of data per day at 15 Mbps speed. 

  • In the second phase, Internet services will be made available to the public at affordable rates.

  • Free Internet connections for BPL families and government institutions is just one part of the ₹1,548 crore KFON project. 

  • The rest of the network will be monetised. 


What is the road ahead?

  • The commissioning of the first phase of KFON comes a week after the Chief Minister declared Kerala as India’s first fully e-governed State.

  • As many as 900 government services, comprising all the services usually required by the public, are now available through a single-window portal.

  • The government has also begun a digital literacy campaign at the grassroot level through various local bodies .

  • If the KFON project achieves what it has envisaged, it can bring about a change at the ground level as far as access and opportunities are concerned.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: KFON UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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