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K-FON project, aimed at connecting lakhs of Kerala households with internet, nearing completion: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

A total of 20 lakh households are expected to get free broadband connectivity and the remaining subsidised connections when the project is realised.

By: Express Web Desk | Kochi |
January 18, 2022 9:38:43 pm
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File)

A massive project to connect lakhs of urban and rural households, government offices and schools with high-speed internet connection in Kerala is nearing completion, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the chief minister said the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project, which was kickstarted in 2019, has progressed quickly despite the constraints of the pandemic as well as natural calamities like floods and waterlogging.

Of the current 2600 km of optical ground wire installation, 2045 kms have been completed. Out of the 34,961 kms of ADS OFC cable laying, 11906 kms have been finished. Of the 375 points of presence, 114 have been completed and works are on to finish 216 points. These are being installed at substations of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). Works on the Network Operating Centre (NOC) have been finished as well, he said.

With the aim of ensuring end-office connectivity of 3000 government offices, 3019 of them were activated by Dec 31, 2019. The remaining would be connected by June this year.

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In each of the 140 Assembly constituencies in the state, 100 families below the poverty line will get free internet connections through the project.

A total of 20 lakh households are expected to get free broadband connectivity and the remaining subsidised connections when the project is realised.

“The experience of the last six years has been that the promises of a Left Front-led government will always be kept. Proving that the experience remains true, the K-Fon project, the pride of the state, will be successfully completed,” the CM said in the post.

The CM’s assurance on the time-bound completion of the K-FON project comes in the backdrop of massive public and political protests against his government for pushing the semi high-speed railway corridor named ‘SilverLine’ without conducting proper social assessment and environmental studies. Vijayan, currently in the US for medical treatment, has fended off criticism with the claim that his government was serious about implementing the project.

The K-FON project is part of the 2016 manifesto of the Left Democratic Front, of which the CPI(M) is a member, wherein it promised to make access to internet a basic human right and subsequently empower those on the lower rungs of the social ladder with internet connectivity. In 2017, the LDF government declared access to internet a basic human right and announced the K-FON project through which thousands of homes and offices would be connected with optical fibre cables.

The project is funded at a cost of Rs 1548 crores and is being implemented by a consortium of firms led by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The government said all internet service providers can use the K-FON infrastructure to strengthen connectivity. It claimed that the project will be good for businesses rooted in AI, internet of things and blockchain technology.

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