The Kerala government has announced that it will provide free internet to nearly 20 lakh BPL (below poverty line) families in the state, as part of the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) launched on Monday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said while announcing the launch that KFON will involve the laying of over 35,000 kilometre-long optical fibre network, which will be open to use for any service provider, reported ANI. KFON is one of the first governmental plans to offer free internet to citizens directly via fibre, instead of through public WiFI networks as is being done in the Central government's PM WANI WiFi scheme, a framework which was approved in December 2020. What KFON will do: Vijayan announced that the launch of the scheme will provide affordable internet to every house in the state, and would revolutionise the state's digital space. KFON will cover all 14 districts in the state. Importantly, 30,000 government institutions will get high bandwidth connectivity, which was available only to 10% of all government offices in the state. Vijayan said that the project will leverage the existing infrastructure of the Kerala State Electricity Board, with a network operating system set up at Ernakulam. The first phase of the project, which will connect users in schools, hospitals, offices and homes, has been launched in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram district, reported The NewsMinute. Right to access internet in Kerala It is important to note that internet access is a fundamental right in Kerala, as…
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