Why in news?
- The Kerala government has officially launched the Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON).
- Through KFON, Kerala aims to reduce the digital divide by ensuring high speed broadband internet access to all houses and government offices.
- Kerala was the first state to declare the right to internet as a basic right.
- KFON will act as an infrastructure provider.
- KFON 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.
- KFON promises an internet speed from 10 mbps to 10 Gbps. The quality of mobile phone calls is also expected to improve.
- Once KFON is connected to mobile towers in Kerala, it will speed up transition to 4G and 5G.
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What is Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON)?
- In the first phase of KFON, the government will provide connectivity to 30,000 government offices and 14,000 BPL households in the state.
- Till June 5, connectivity has been provided to 17,412 government offices and 2,105 households and a cable network has been laid to provide connections to 9,000 households.
- Kerala Vision Broadband, an initiative of cable TV operators, is providing internet service in many districts of Kerala.
- Private service providers will also benefit from KFON’s infrastructure as they can use its cable network.
- Internet connectivity to the households will be provided by the local ISP/TSP/Cable TV providers.
Stakeholders of KFON
- The Rs 1,611-crore KFON project is a joint venture between the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala State IIT Infrastructure Limited.
- The project was announced in 2017 but work started in 2019.
- The project implementation was done by a consortium led by Central PSU Bharat Electronics Limited.
- PricewaterhouseCoopers is the advisor to the project.
- Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) would be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the project.
- Bharat Electronics (BEL) is the system integrator for the KFON project.
- The project is fully funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
Basically, KFON will act as an infrastructure provider. The KFON infrastructure will be shared with all service providers, including cable operators. Local ISP/TSP/cable TV providers would provide Internet connectivity to the households.
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