The Kerala government plans to provide free, high-speed Internet to schools, public offices, and poor households in the state by December. A government official said the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project is close to completion, Mint reported.
"Work is progressing in full swing, more than 80 percent is finished. If no other obstructions come in our way, we shall be completing the work by December," said NS Pillai, chairman and managing director Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).
The Rs 1,500 crore K-FON project is aimed at providing high-speed internet connectivity to 20 lakh families living below the poverty line (BPL).
The project, approved by the Kerala government in November 2019, will create an extensive state-wide optical fibre network.
The project is a 50:50 joint venture between Kerala State IT Infrastructure and KSEB.
"The project is devised in a manner that it will not be compromising on quality. We will be putting ourselves in competition with the connectivity offered by any private player. Currently, government schools in Kerala alone pay Rs 15-20 crore as Internet charges. The panchayats and other government organs might be paying another Rs 20-40 crore. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, these bills have skyrocketed now. Altogether, several state arms are paying Rs 75-100 crore for the Internet as of now," said Pillai.The report said the state aims to provide Internet connectivity at speeds of 10Mbps to 1Gbps through the project.