K-FON, Kerala’s fiber network, to be ready by Dec

Kerala Fiber Optic Network, a high-speed broadband service from Kerala government, will start operations by the end of the year, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today.

The Rs 1,000 crore project was announced around two years ago with a December 2020 deadline.

Vijayan said he has spoken with the consortium of companies that are putting the network in place, led by Government of India firm Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

“BEL Director has today assured that the network will be ready by December,” Vijayan said.

The project was first mentioned in the Left Front’s manifesto in 2016. The Pinarayi Vijayan government has to deliver it by December if he has to get any electoral benefit from the project in state elections scheduled for April/May 2021.

Vijayan said today that the project will provide high-speed internet at affordable rates to everyone.

It will also provide revenue to Kerala State Electricity Board, whose joint venture with Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd will own and operate the service.

Vijayan said the service will play a crucial role in the future as, in the post-COVID-19 economy, more and more services, particularly education and healthcare, will have to be delivered using the internet.

“It will be the most powerful internet service in Kerala and will help smooth the transition to the knowledge economy,” he said.

The service will also offer limited free internet to low-income families.

The first phase of the project involved connecting aa 220 KV, 119 KV avd 55 KV substations of KSEB to an optical fibre cable network, which is in progress.

In the second phase, connections will be provided by stringing cables on power lines.