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Monday, 26 October 2020

Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Scheme - Free Internet to 20 Lakh BPL Families

Kerala government will roll-out Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Scheme by December 2020. Under this K-FON project, the state govt. will provide free internet to 20 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has made an announcement about K-FON initiative after meeting with head of companies of consortium executing Rs.1500 crore for project. 

The Kerala Fibre Optic Network Scheme (K-FONS) is a first of its kind initiative in the entire Indian nation. The state will be the first to provide high speed internet connection absolutely free of cost. Moreover, those families who does not fall in BPL category will get Net connectivity at affordable rates. 

Despite delay due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, Kerala govt. is going to complete the project by Dec 2020. 

Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Scheme 

The state govt. is going to start Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Scheme to provide free access to high speed internet connection to BPL households. In addition to this, Non-BPL families will get internet connectivity at affordable prices. All the licenced internet service providers (ISPs) and cable TV operators can utilize Fibre Optic Network to provide services to its citizens. 

Significance of K-FON Project (Benefits)

Kerala CM mentioned that K-FON project will be of immense benefit for the state. It would bring internet connectivity to hospitals, schools, government officers, and other institutions. This K-FON Scheme would open the possibility for Kerala to take a giant leap in the IT sector by the following ways:-
  • K-FON scheme will provide major gains in the Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things and startup domains sectors.
  • Around 30,000 govt. offices and educational institutions would be linked through the high speed network. 
  • K-FON project will give a push to the digitalisation of government services like the e-health programme. 
  • IT parks, airports and seaports would also be benefited from the linkage.
  • Several small scale enterprises which makes use of e-commerce platforms stand to gain from K-FON Scheme. 
  • High quality video conferencing and transport management are other significant advantages of this scheme. 
  • The K-Fon fibre optic network will also link all mobile towers in the State for better mobile Internet services.
The state govt. of Kerala will partner with leading private ISPs for providing seamless bandwidth connectivity.

Highlights of K-FON Scheme

CM highlighted that Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Scheme will prove very beneficial for poor citizens. Such lower class people are not able to get internet services as cost of internet pack per month is high for them. Now the state govt. will provide high speed and high quality internet connection free to poor BPL people and affordable prices for others.

Chief Minister also mentioned that Kerala is the only state in the country which has declared internet as fundamental right to its citizens. The consortium for the project comprises of public sector companies, Railtel and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and private companies such as LS Cables and SRIT.

About Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Project

The project has been implemented by Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited and Kerala State Electricity Board. Optical fibre cables were laid across the state using KSEB posts. Kerala Fibre Optic Network Scheme will act as catalyst for the knowledge-based economy envisioned by the state. 

As the importance and relevance of the internet will grow in the post-COVID-19 scenario, CM said that use of the internet in sectors such as banking and education will greatly increase. 

K-FON project will provide major support to the government's efforts to develop Kerala as the world’s leading educational, industrial, and tourism destination.

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