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K-FON: Kerela to launch free internet for poor

The ambitious Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project of the Left government, which seeks to provide free internet connectivity to the poor, will be launched on June 5, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday.

Vijayan said around 20 lakh families that are economically backward will be provided the service free of cost. K-FON will be available to others at an affordable rate.

In a Facebook post, the chief minister said that currently 18,000 government offices in the state have been provided with internet facilities through the Rs 1,500 crore-K-FON project.

“The basic infrastructure facilities to provide internet to 7,000 houses have been completed. 748 houses have been given connection,” Vijayan said, adding that the project will be launched on June 5.

He said K-FON was an alternative to the corporates in the telecom sector.

“The government has planned K-FON in order to stop the exploitation by private cable and mobile service providers. The project which will be implemented through the state electricity and IT departments will help the state overcome the digital divide,” Vijayan said.

He said K-FON is Kerala’s own internet service which will help strengthen digital infrastructure in the state.

Kerala was the first state to declare the Internet as a fundamental right of a citizen.

A consortium of public-sector companies including Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Railtel, along with certain private companies, is executing the project.

Vijayan had earlier said that the K-FON network would provide internet connectivity to schools, hospitals, government offices and other public institutions and will be a “catalyst for the knowledge-based economy envisioned by the state”. PTI

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