Governance Science & Tech

Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON)

  • Internet Access: KFON, a flagship project aiming at bridging the digital divide and supporting e-governance, was officially inaugurated by the Kerala government.
  • KFON plans to deliver high-speed broadband internet connectivity to all Kerala households and government offices, bridging the digital divide.

What exactly is KFON?                         

  • KFON provides optical fibre cable network infrastructure in Kerala, covering 30,000 km and 375 points of presence.
  • The infrastructure of KFON is shared by all service providers, including cable operators, benefiting both government offices and individual beneficiaries.
  • Household internet connectivity is provided by local ISPs/TSPs/cable TV providers.

KFON Connectivity Spread and Speed

  • Goals: The initial stage of KFON intends to connect 30,000 government offices and 14,000 BPL (Below Poverty Line) families in Kerala.
  • Internet Speed and Mobile Connectivity: KFON claims internet speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, as well as improved call quality on mobile phones.
  • As of June 5th, 17,412 government offices and 2,105 homes were connected, with cable networks in place for 9,000 homes.

Purpose: Empowering the Poor

  • Internet Connection for BPL homes: KFON seeks to provide free internet access to 20 lakh low-income homes.
  • Phase one of implementation: The initial phase aims to reach 14,000 BPL families, with a long-term goal of selecting 100 BPL families from each assembly constituency for high-speed internet connection.

The need for KFON

  • The Left’s Alternative Development Model: The CPI(M) government promotes KFON as part of its commitment to the public sector and an alternative development model.
  • Rural Connectivity Issues: KFON addresses private telecom operators’ insufficient infrastructure and bandwidth in rural areas.
  • KFON was developed to ensure efficient service delivery, quality, dependability, interoperability, and security.

Stakeholders of KFON

  • KFON Joint Venture Stakeholders and Ownership: KFON is a joint venture between the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala State IIT Infrastructure Limited, with the KSEB holding the infrastructure assets.
  • The KFON project is being implemented by a partnership led by Central Public Sector Undertaking Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) is totally funding the project.

Services Provided

  • Core Network Infrastructure: KFON aspires to build a non-discriminatory information highway connecting government offices and educational institutions.
  • KFON provides access to government offices, leasing of dark fibre, internet leased line, fibre to the home, wifi hotspots, asset colocation, IPTV, OTT, and cloud hosting.
  • Licences and Facilities: KFON is an Infrastructure Provider (category one) and an Internet Service Provider (category B) with access to optical fibre network infrastructure.
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