Several schools forced to rely on BSNL's broadband as K-FON internet link proves elusive

Online class.
Government issued an order directing all schools to surrender their BSNL connections and switch to K-FON. Photo: IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: A large number of schools in Kerala are facing a severe crisis as they are yet to be connected to the internet even though the next academic year will start within a few days.

The crisis emerged after the state government failed to provide internet through the newly-laid K-FON (Kerala Fibre Optic Network), except for some schools in the urban areas. The internet is indispensable for academic activities, especially for the high school and higher secondary classes which function in smart classrooms.

During previous years, broadband Internet was provided to schools by BSNL through KITE, the IT agency of the General Education Department. However, in March this year, the government issued an order directing all schools to surrender their BSNL connections and switch to K-FON.

Meanwhile, KITE’s suggestion to the government to retain the BSNL connections until K-FON was fully operational was rejected. Consequently, with no internet in schools, teachers who had to carry out office work during the holidays had to depend on private mobile data connections. 

Even though the government promised to ensure the smooth operation of K-FON connections before school reopening, it is yet to happen. 

Reacting to the issue, K-FON authorities said that all infrastructural work was completed and only activation of the internet connections was required. However, it is pointed out that the work has not been carried out in several schools. 

To manage the situation, some schools have now restored their BSNL connections on their own. 

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