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.
What is KFON?
  • 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: 
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
Spread of KFON:
  • 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.
Source: Indian Express
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