Thiruvananthapuram, June 7, 2023 – The Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON), a groundbreaking initiative by the State Government, has been successfully launched by the Chief Minister, bringing the promise of high-speed internet to the masses. However, it is anticipated that it will take approximately one more month before home-based customers can start enjoying this service.
The responsibility of installing cables and providing connections to homes lies with local service providers, specifically cable TV operators. The application process for obtaining connections will commence in July.
This slight delay in the implementation of the project is attributed to the need to enlist over 6,000 service providers. Starting from July, customers will be able to avail themselves of the Fibre To Home (FTH) service, ensuring faster and more reliable internet access.
To facilitate the application process, a mobile application called “Ente KFON” has been made available on both Google Play Store and the App Store. Over 5,000 applications have already been received and will be forwarded to local service providers, who will be responsible for delivering the KFON connections to homes. Customers will not be required to pay for the cable installation as KFON will cover the cost. Additionally, KFON will share 50% of the monthly charges paid by consumers with the local service providers.
On the other hand, commercial establishments are not yet eligible for KFON connections. The responsibility of securing business connections for KFON has been assigned to SRIT, the appointed “managed service provider.” The commercial services are expected to commence in August, along with the announcement of tariff plans.
In a notable move, the State Government has allocated funds amounting to Rs 200 crore per year to cover the internet expenses for schools, hospitals, and government offices through KFON. Furthermore, the government will bear the costs of providing free internet to 14,000 Below Poverty Line (BPL) households, with 100 beneficiaries in each Assembly constituency.
Although the plan initially aimed to provide internet facilities to 30,000 government offices, installations have been delayed in areas undergoing National Highway development. As of now, 18,700 government offices have been equipped with internet access.
Dr. Santosh Babu, Managing Director of KFON, expressed optimism about the project’s progress, stating, “As per the government’s announcement, KFON connections will be extended to 14,000 households belonging to the BPL category within this month. Commercial connections will follow in August. KFON will transform Kerala into a gigabyte (GB) economy.”
Out of the total 14,500 schools that currently utilize the internet, 6,590 schools have already been connected to KFON. In March, the government mandated that all schools switch to KFON, resulting in 4,500 schools canceling their BSNL connections obtained through the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology Education (KITE) project. The additional list of these schools has been submitted to KFON, and they will receive internet facilities at the earliest convenience.
In conclusion, KFON’s mission to provide high-speed internet access across Kerala is on the verge of becoming a reality for home-based customers. With the project’s successful implementation, the state is poised to thrive as a gigabyte economy, benefitting both individuals and businesses alike.