K-FON becomes certified infrastructure provider in telecom sector

Pinarayi Vijayan | Screengrab

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that the union government has approved the request of the state government to certify Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) as an infrastructure provider in the telecom sector.

K-FON has secured an IP-1 certificate of the ministry.

"The Infrastructure Providers Category-I are those Infrastructure Providers who provide assets such as Dark Fibre, Right of Way, Duct space and Tower," states the telecom ministry website.

They can "establish and maintain the assets such as Dark Fibres, Right of Way, Duct Space and Tower for the purpose to grant on lease/rent/sale."

The government has also applied for a service provider licence with the government. It is yet to get approval.

KFON, "an audacious project" of the state government, aims to set up a fibre optics network across the state connecting houses, government offices and establishments, and "obviate the digital divide." Kerala had declared access to the internet a basic human right in 2019.

The laying of the fibre optics lines and providing last mile connections are underway. It aims to provide free internet to 20 lakh underprivileged households, 30,000 government offices besides the private establishments. The network will be 35,000 km long, said to be the longest in Kerala.

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