Recently, The Kerala government officially launched the Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON), one of its flagship projects envisaged during the first term of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
GS II: Government policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- KFON: Kerala Fiber Optic Network
- The need for KFON
- Services provided by KFON
KFON: Kerala Fiber Optic Network
- KFON is an infrastructure project in Kerala, India, aimed at providing high-speed broadband internet access to all households and government offices.
- It consists of a 30,000 km optical fiber cable network with 375 Points-of-Presence (PoPs) spread across Kerala.
- The infrastructure will be shared with all service providers, including cable operators, to ensure widespread connectivity.
- The cable work for government offices will be undertaken by KFON, while individual beneficiaries will rely on private, local internet service providers (ISPs).
- Kerala Vision Broadband, an initiative of cable TV operators, currently provides internet service in many districts and will also benefit from the KFON infrastructure.
- Internet connectivity for households will be facilitated by local ISPs, telecom service providers (TSPs), or cable TV providers.
- KFON aims to reduce the digital divide by ensuring high-speed broadband internet access for all households and government offices in Kerala.
- It supports the state’s commitment to the right to internet as a basic right and seeks to promote e-governance and the development of a knowledge-based economy.
Coverage and Speed:
- In the initial phase, KFON intends to provide connectivity to 30,000 government offices and 14,000 Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
- As of June 5, approximately 17,412 government offices and 2,105 houses have been connected, with cable network infrastructure laid down for 9,000 houses.
- KFON promises internet speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, enabling improved mobile phone calls and facilitating the transition to 4G and 5G technology when connected to mobile towers in Kerala.
The need for KFON:
- KFON is positioned by the CPI(M) government in Kerala as part of their alternative model of development and commitment to the public sector.
- Existing private telecom players have limited infrastructure in rural areas, providing limited bandwidth, and are not motivated to enhance connectivity infrastructure due to low business potential.
- The Kerala State Wide Area Network (KSWAN) connecting government offices is limited in scope, necessitating the establishment of KFON for efficient service delivery, assured Quality of Service, reliability, interoperability, and security.
Services provided by KFON:
- Creation of a core network infrastructure with non-discriminatory access for all service providers.
- Reliable, secure, and scalable intranet connecting government offices and educational institutions.
- Services include connectivity to government offices, leasing of dark fiber, internet leased line, fiber to the home, Wi-Fi hotspots, colocation of assets, internet protocol television, over-the-top services, and cloud hosting.
- KFON holds Infrastructure Provider (category one) and Internet Service Provider (category B) licenses granted by the Union Department of Telecommunications.
Benefitting the poor:
- KFON aims to provide internet connectivity to 20 lakh families below the poverty line.
- In the initial phase, 14,000 BPL families will receive high-speed internet connections free of cost.
- Over time, 100 BPL families in each of the state’s 140 Assembly constituencies will be selected to benefit from this scheme.
-Source: Indian Express