Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, unveiled the Kerala Fiber Optic Network (K-FON), a government-owned broadband service provider, with the aim of ensuring universal internet access at an affordable cost. The launch event witnessed the inauguration of K-FON's commercial website and mobile app, marking a significant milestone in the state's digital connectivity initiatives.
During its initial phase, K-FON will extend internet services to approximately 14,000 financially disadvantaged households and 30,000 government offices. The project will prioritise internet access based on a list provided by local self-governing bodies, starting with 100 households in each legislative assembly constituency across the state.
K-FON has already established a robust IT infrastructure capable of supporting 400,000 internet connections throughout Kerala. Consumers will have access to internet services with a minimum speed of 20 Mbps, and higher speeds will be available based on individual requirements. Currently, K-FON has successfully installed internet connectivity in 26,492 government offices, with 17,354 offices already enjoying live internet access. The remaining government offices are scheduled to be connected by the end of June, as per the provided list.
With over 1,000 household subscribers already on board, K-FON has completed cable installations for over 7,000 connections. By August 2023, upon completion of the initial phase of the project, K-FON aims to expand its services to include commercial connections. The project envisions providing approximately 250,000 commercial connections within the first year, paving the way for the project's long-term viability and profitability.
The launch of K-FON signifies Kerala's commitment to bridging the digital divide and enabling inclusive access to the internet for all residents. The state's progressive approach towards universal connectivity is expected to drive socio-economic development, empower individuals, and enhance the overall quality of life. With K-FON's ambitious expansion plans and affordable internet services, Kerala is poised to become a digital frontrunner in the country, setting a precedent for other states to follow.
As K-FON continues to roll out its services across the state, the government remains steadfast in its efforts to ensure that every citizen can benefit from the advantages of digital connectivity, fostering a more digitally inclusive and empowered society.