The Centre has accorded approval to Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), as certified Infrastructure Provider (IP) in the telecom industry, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday.
The KFON project aims at providing connections to BPL families and government offices in the state to ensure universal internet access.
Vijayan said the ambitious project will bridge the digital divide and the operations would kickstart once it gets the Internet Service Provider (ISP) license from Department of Telecommunications.
“The Kerala Fibre Optic Network Limited has received Infrastructure Provider Category I Registration Certificate from @DoT_India. It will enable K-FON, Kerala’s prestigious project to bridge the digital divide, to obtain an ISP license and kickstart operations in the near future,” Vijayan tweeted.
In a statement issued, Vijayan said the Left government’s KFON project is a declaration that the Internet is a right of the people.
“The project, which provides free, low-cost and quality high-speed internet to as many people as possible, is a popular alternative of the Left government to the corporate forces in the telecom sector,” Vijayan noted.
As per the official registration with the Department of Telecommunication, KFON will have the authority to acquire, prepare, maintain, repair, rent, lease or sell fiber optic lines (dark fiber), duct space, towers, networks and other facilities.
He further said the state government launched the KFON project with a determination not to create an opportunity for exploitation by private cable networks and mobile service providers.
The KFON scheme is envisaged to provide free internet to BPL families and 30,000 government offices.
The previous Left government had in 2019 declared internet connection as a basic right and launched the Rs 1,548-crore KFON project. PTI