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Kerala Fibre Optical Network

8th June, 2023 Science and Technology

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  • The Kerala government officially launched the Kerala Fibre Optical Network (KFON) 

What is KFON?

  • Basically, KFON will act as an infrastructure provider. It is an optical fibre cable network of 30,000 kms, with 375 Points-of-Presence across Kerala.
  • The KFON infrastructure will be shared with all service providers, including cable operators. While KFON will do the cable work for government offices, individual beneficiaries will have to depend on private, local internet service providers.
  • In many districts, Kerala Vision Broadband, an initiative of cable TV operators, is providing the internet service. The KFON infrastructure will also benefit private service providers as they can use its cable network. Internet connectivity to the households would be provided by local ISP/TSP/cable TV providers.

What is its spread?

  • In the first stage of KFON, the government wants to provide connectivity to 30,000 government offices and 14,000 BPL families in the state. As on June 5, connectivity has been provided to 17,412 government offices and 2,105 houses, and cable network has been laid down to give connection to 9,000 houses.
  • KFON promises an internet speed from 10 mbps to 10 Gbps. The quality of mobile phone calls is also expected to improve. Once KFON is connected to mobile towers in Kerala, it will speed up transition to 4G and 5G.

Who are the stakeholders?

  • The Rs 1,611-crore KFON project is a joint venture of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Kerala State IIT Infrastructure Limited. The project was announced in 2017, but work started in 2019 with a plan to become functional in 2021.

What services will it provide?

  • The aim of the KFON is to create a core network infrastructure (information highway) with non-discriminatory access to all service providers, and to ensure a reliable, secure and scalable intranet connecting all government offices and educational institutions.
  • Its major services are connectivity to government offices, leasing of dark fibre, internet leased line, fibre to the home, wifi hotspots, colocation of assets under network operating centres and Point-of-Presences, internet protocol television, OTT, and cloud hosting.
  • The Union Department of Telecommunications had provided Infrastructure Provider (category one) licence as well as the Internet Service Provider licence (category B) to the KFON. The IP licence allowed the KFON to obtain fibre optic lines (dark fibre), towers, duct space, network and other related infrastructure facilities for establishing an optic fibre network.

How will it help the poor?

  • A major highlight of the KFON is that the government wants to ensure internet connection for 20 lakh families below poverty line. In the first phase, as many as 14,000 BPL families would get connections to high-speed internet, free of cost.
  • With time, 100 BPL families in each of the state’s 140 Assembly constituencies will be selected for this scheme.


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