KFON services for homes expected to commence after a month

K-FON – a joint project of Kerala IT Infrastructure Ltd and Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd – is supposed to make Internet available in 30,000 government institutions and 14,000 BPL families.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), the ambitious high-speed internet project of the State Government, is finally a reality after it was launched by the Chief Minister just days ago.

That said, it will take at least one more month to provide internet service to home-based customers according to those in the know.

The local service providers - cable TV operators - will be installing the cables and providing connections.

The applications for connections will be accepted in July.

The delay in the rollout of the project is caused by the need to empanel over 6,000 service providers. The connections provided from July will be Fibre To Home (FTH) service.

Free installation
A mobile application named “Ente KFON” has been made available on Google Play Store and App Store. Over 5,000 applications have been received till now. These will be forwarded to the local service providers who will provide the KFON connection to homes. The customers need not pay for the installation of the cable as it will be borne by KFON. It will share 50% of the monthly charge paid by the consumers with the local service provider.

Connections for commercial establishments are not yet ready for rollout. SRIT has been appointed as the "managed service provider" for canvassing business for KFON. Commercial connections will be provided through this company. The services are expected to begin by August when the tariffs for the services will also be decided.

Govt to pay Rs 200 crore as rent
The State Government will pay the rent for providing internet facilities through KFON for schools, hospitals, and government offices by allocating the expense in the budget every year. This will amount to Rs 200 crore a year. The government will also bear the expenses for providing free internet for 100 Below Poverty Line (BPL) households in each Assembly constituency, making a total of 14,000 beneficiaries.

Even though it was planned to provide internet facilities in the 30,000 government offices, cables have not been installed in places where National Highway development is progressing. Until now, 18,700 government officers have been provided with the internet facility.

"As announced by the government, KFON connections will reach 14,000 households belonging to the BPL category this month itself. Commercial connections will be given from August. Kerala will become a gigabyte (GB) economy through KFON,” said Dr Santosh Babu, Managing Director, KFON.

7,908 schools await connection
KFON connection has been given to 6,590 of the total 14,500 schools that are using internet at present. The government had ordered in March that all the schools must change over to KFON. In compliance with this, 4,500 schools which had received BSNL connections through the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology Education (KITE) project, cancelled their BSNL connections. Following this, an additional list including the names of these schools was handed over to KFON. They will be provided with Internet facilities as soon as possible.


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