K-FON to miss June 30 deadline, road repairs delay cable laying

Thiruvananthapuram: The completion of the work on the ambitious Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) Project is set to miss the June 30 deadline set by the State Government earlier. Over 5,000 government offices will have to wait for internet connection from the network as envisaged for the first phase.

The work for K-FON along the 5,218-km stretch would remain incomplete even after the deadline due to the ongoing road repair works in 12 districts. Optic Fibre Cables (OFCs) will be laid only after the repair of roads in these areas.

The installation of OFCs in other places is going on a fast mode in order to meet the June 30 deadline.

The cables for project are being laid along a 34,000-km stretch in the State. Of this, road repairs have hit the task everywhere except Thrissur and Kollam districts.

The most-affected district due to road repair work will be Malappuram. Even after the June 30 deadline, the cable-laying work on the 975-km stretch is going to remain pending in Malappuram.

The work to remain pending will be along 527 km in Kozhikode district, 500 km in Wayanad district and 544 km in Idukki district.

The least-affected district is Thiruvananthapuram where the road repair work is going to hit the K-FON work only in a 5-km stretch. But, it is a tedious task that within two months, the optic fibre network has to be installed for 7,022 km in the district.

As per the plan, internet connections under the K-FON project are to be provided in 27,450 government offices, including schools. Of this, the facility has already been extended to 19,000 offices.

Tenders for service providers invited

The process of the selection of the service providers has also been set in motion by the State Government.

The quotation from the service providers will be sought for providing internet facilities with speed of 5-10 Gigabit per second (Gbps). On an experimental basis, internet connection with 1 Gbps speed is now given to some offices under the K-FON project.

The K-FON project aims to eliminate the digital divide.

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