The Center has granted approval to Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON), as a certified infrastructure (IP) provider in the telecom industry, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday.
The KFON project aims to provide connections to BPL families and state government offices to ensure universal access to the Internet.
Vijayan said the ambitious project will bridge the digital divide and operations will start once it obtains the Internet Service Provider (ISP) license from the Ministry of Telecommunications.
“Kerala Fiber Optic Network Limited has received the Infrastructure Provider Category I Registration Certificate from @DoT_India. This will enable K-FON, Kerala’s prestigious project aimed at bridging the digital divide, to obtain a license ISP and launch its operations in the near future,” Vijayan tweeted.
In a statement released, Vijayan said the leftist government’s KFON project is a statement that the internet is a people’s right.
“The project, which provides free, inexpensive and quality high-speed internet access to as many people as possible, is a popular left-wing government alternative to corporate forces in the telecom sector,” Vijayan noted.
Pursuant to official registration with the Department of Telecommunications, KFON shall have the authority to acquire, prepare, maintain, repair, lease, lease or sell fiber optic lines (dark fiber), ducts , pylons, networks and other facilities.
He further said that the state government launched the KFON project with the determination not to create an opportunity for exploitation by private cable networks and mobile service providers.
The KFON program is envisioned to provide free internet access to BPL families and 30,000 government offices.
The previous leftist government in 2019 declared internet connection as a basic right and launched the Rs 1,548 crore KFON project.