Kerala’s KFON Secures ISP License
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has become the only state with its own internet service as the state government's spirited project Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON) secured an Internet Service Provider (ISP) license from the Department of Telecommunications. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed through his social media handles that KFON is now ready to start its operations after securing the license from the centre. The mega fibre optic network project will provide free high-speed internet connectivity to under-privileged families and government institutions.
Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, has issued KFON with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) category B unified licence that allows internet services within the Kerala telecom circle. Before this, the centre had issued an Infrastructure Provider Category 1 license last week. KFON Managing Director Santosh Babu and the Director of Technology C N Sai Shravan signed the license agreement in Kochi. In a test run, the project has already started providing internet in some government offices in the Wayanad district.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state’s prestigious KFON project will kickstart its operations by providing internet as a basic right to people. “K-FON is a project launched by the LDF government to provide low-cost and high-quality high-speed internet to the public. It is a big assurance given by the government to the people of Kerala, where the internet has been declared a basic right. The project that provides internet service, free of cost to the underprivileged and at moderate rates to others, is a people’s alternative to the corporate dominance in telecom sector,” Kerala CM wrote on Facebook.
The first phase of KFON that is ready to start its operations would provide free internet to 14000 Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and 30,000 government institutions across the state. One hundred beneficiaries were selected from each of the 140 constituencies through local self-governing bodies. KFON internet service will provide 1.5 GB of free daily data at 50 Mbps speed to these families. Usage beyond the daily limit will be charged at subsidised rates.
The project ultimately aims to provide free internet connections to 20 lakh BPL families and to connect all government institutions using the optic fibre network. The 30,000 government institutions included in Phase-I are now equipped to connect through the KFON network. This is expected to ensure fast, secure, cost-efficient, and self-reliable connectivity among government institutions.
“About 30,000 government offices have been equipped for internet connectivity through KFON. When the connectivity is established after the final preparations, it will accelerate paperless service delivery at government offices. This would help create a people-friendly atmosphere in government offices with faster service delivery,” CM Vijayan added in his Facebook post.
The mega optic fibre pathway also sets an alternate model in digital infrastructure development. In addition to becoming the only ISP owned by a state government, it is also expected to boost the Kerala government's vision to transform the state into a 'Knowledge Economy'.
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