Kerala becomes first state to have its own internet service provider K-FON - Hindustan Times
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Kerala becomes first state to have its own internet service provider K-FON: All you need to know

Jun 06, 2023 10:42 AM IST

The Kerala government plans to established an "afforable" network infrastructure across the state at the cost of ₹1,500 crore.

Kerala on Monday became the first state to have its own broadband service K-FON or ‘Kerala Fibre Optic Network’, a state-run initiative launched by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, in a bid to improve internet accessibility to the people.

The initiative will provide free internet access to more than 20 lakh people.(REUTERS/ Representative)
The initiative will provide free internet access to more than 20 lakh people.(REUTERS/ Representative)

While launching the service, the CM advocated for universal internet access and hailed the initiative as a pivotal step towards transforming Kerala into a knowledge economy and fostering an innovation-driven society. The CM said that by ensuring connectivity in places through K-FON, including Idamalakudy in the interiors of forest, "no one would be left behind and everyone would be a part of the real Kerala story.”

Also Read: 66% of schools didn’t have internet access in 21-22 academic year: Report

All you need to know about K-FON or Kerala Fibre Optic Network:

1)Vijayan introduced K-FON as an alternative model to the corporate-run telecom sector. The move is a bid to bridge the digital divide by “freeing the people from the exploitation of private sector cable networks and mobile service providers,” he said.

2)The service is claimed to offer equivalent high speed and quality as other service providers, but at more affordable rates. The most basic plan would cost 299 (excluding GST) per month with a speed of 20 Mbps. It also comes with a free download limit of 3,000 GB each month. K-FON’s highest plan is priced at 1,249 (excluding GST) with a speed of 250 Mbps. The plan comes with a free download limit of 5,000 GB per month.

3)As per the service’s website, it’s a fundamental network infrastructure - an “information highway" with “non-discriminatory access to all service providers so as to augment their connectivity gap.” For this 35,000 km optical fibre network would be established across the state at a cost of 1,500 crore. It has been funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

4)The project will be completed in two tracks. In its first phase, the outlying of the state-wide core optical fibre network would be done to provide connectivity to 30,000+ government institutions. In the second phase, the government plans to provide free internet to economically backward families and subsidised connection to others by leveraging K-FON Infrastructure.

5)The website states that the project's ultimate motive is to provide free internet access to more than 20 lakh people. The CM said the initiative would cover nearly 14,000 households of Kerala.

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