KFON inches closer to realisation by securing ISP certificate from union government

Kerala Fibre Optic Network / Representative Image

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON), a state government undertaking, has secured the Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence, informed chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday. With this, the agency can provide free internet services to selected backward households as it declared.

Pinarayi, who also holds the portfolio of Information Technology, said the Department of Telecommunication accepted the request for Category B licence for KFON which allows it to provide service in a selected telecom circle or metro area.

Earlier, KFON had secured a certificate to be an infrastructure provider in the telecom sector under IP-1 category. "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.

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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