KFON- Kerala’s Scheme for Internet Connectivity
Context: The Kerala government recently officially launched the Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON). Key Points:
- Kerala has become the first state to declare the right to internet as a basic right.
- Through KFON, it aims to reduce the digital divide by ensuring high speed broadband internet access to all houses and government offices.
- With the setting up of the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), internet connections would be provided free of cost to 20 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families.
- It is also intended to give a fillip to e-governance and accelerate Kerala’s journey towards being a knowledge-based economy.
- Basically, KFON will act as an infrastructure provider. It is an optical fibre cable network of 30,000 kms, with 375 Points-of-Presence across Kerala.
- The KFON infrastructure will be shared with all service providers, including cable operators.
- While KFON will do the cable work for government offices, individual beneficiaries will have to depend on private, local internet service providers.
- Major services: Connectivity to government offices, leasing of dark fibre, internet leased line, fibre to the home, wifi hotspots, colocation of assets under network operating centres and Point-of-Presences, internet protocol television, OTT, and cloud hosting.
- Licence Granted:
- The Union Department of Telecommunications had provided Infrastructure Provider (category one) licence as well as the Internet Service Provider licence (category B) to the KFON.
- The IP licence allowed the KFON to obtain fibre optic lines (dark fibre), towers, duct space, network and other related infrastructure facilities for establishing an optic fibre network.
- In the first stage of KFON, the government wants to provide connectivity to 30,000 government offices and 14,000 BPL families in the state.
- KFON promises an internet speed from 10 mbps to 10 Gbps. The quality of mobile phone calls is also expected to improve.