Fourteen thousand poor households and 30,000 government offices of the southern Indian state of Kerala were on Monday June 5, provided with high-speed internet. But the aim is higher.
The state’s new service, called Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), is the first such in India and aims to uplink its 35 million citizens, especially 2 million of those considered poor. Launching the project in 2019, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s government declared access to the internet a basic right.
When completed, it will function on 35,000 kilometres of optical fibre network across Kerala’s 14 districts.
“The introduction of the KFON project will propel Kerala’s internet revolution to unprecedented heights, fostering further advancements in the state,” Dr Santhosh Babu, a retired managing director of KFON, told Mathrubhumi newspaper.
To avail of a new KFON connection, one has to install the app, select the “new customer” option and fill in the required details to complete the connection request. Once that’s done, KFON’s business support centre will contact and take care of the next course of action.
The app will be available on Google’s Play Store and App Store. The minimum speed available is 20 Mbps, but customers can avail of better options as per their needs.
Up to 1,000 households have reportedly already got a KFON connection. At 56 per cent, Kerala has one of the highest rates of internet penetration among India’s 28 states.