KFON, which stands for Kerala Fiber Optic Network, is an ambitious project undertaken by the government of Kerala in India. It aims to provide high-speed internet connectivity to every household, institution, and government office in the state of Kerala. The project’s objective is to bridge the digital divide and ensure that citizens have access to affordable and reliable internet services.
KFON is being implemented by Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL), a government-owned company. The network infrastructure is built using fiber optic cables, which can transmit data at high speeds over long distances. The project involves the laying of thousands of kilometers of fiber optic cables across the state.
Once completed, KFON will offer various services, including high-speed internet access, digital TV, and IP-based voice communication. The project aims to enhance digital literacy, promote e-governance, and enable the growth of digital services and industries in Kerala.
Fourteen thousand poor households and 30,000 government offices of the southern Indian state of Kerala today (June 5) were provided with high-speed internet. But the aim is higher.
The state’s new service, called Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), is the first such in India and aims to uplink its 35 million citizens, especially 2 million of those considered poor. Launching the project in 2019, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s government declared access to the internet a basic right.
Kerala’s own internet, K-FON, will be launched tomorrow. Aimed at bridging the digital divide, the project will provide high speed internet to 20 lakh families for free, & at nominal rates for the rest. A big step in transforming Kerala into a knowledge economy!
How One Can avail KFON internet service :
To avail of a new KFON connection, one has to install the app, select the “new customer” option and fill in the required details to complete the connection request. Once that’s done, KFON’s business support center will contact and take care of the next course of action.
The app will be available on Google’s Play Store and App Store. The minimum speed available is 20 Mbps, but customers can avail of better options as per their needs.
Up to 1,000 households have reportedly already got a KFON connection. At 56%, Kerala has one of the highest rates of internet penetration among India’s 28 states.
Only 1,000 families get internet connection so far
While it was conceived with the promise of including 20 lakh beneficiaries, the target of providing free internet connection was revised to 14,000 households in the first phase, with 100 houses in each of the 140 Assembly constituencies. But even this seems to be far stretched as the cables have been laid, covering only 7,000 houses so far and connections provided only to 1,000 of them.
Similarly, out of the targeted 30,000 government offices, infrastructure facilities have been laid only in 26,492 offices till now and the connection provided to 17,354 out of them.
The KFON has installed an IT infrastructure capable of setting up 40 lakh internet connections across the state. Consumers can access internet services at a speed of 20 Mbps. Dr Santosh Babu, the Managing Director of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL), said the implementing agency will start issuing commercial connections within three months.
The Network Operating Centre, which can be described as the brain of the KFON project, is located at Infopark, Kochi. One sub-station of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), in each district, called Point of Presence (PoP) will be connected to the network Under the project jointly implemented by the KSITIL and the KSEB at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore, 2,000 free Wi-Fi spots for public use is also being extended besides providing Wi-Fi networks free of cost or at a fair price for those arriving at government offices for availing various services
The KFON has also engaged Bangalore-based SRIT as the Managed Service Provider (MSP) on a commission basis to market and find business.