The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the Kerala Fibre Optic Network Limited (K-FON) as an internet service provider (ISP). K-FON has been granted category B unified licence as an ISP, according to a communication issued by the Chief Minister’s office.
The licence will make K-FON eligible to provide internet services within Kerala. “With this, Kerala has become a State with an ISP licence and internet connectivity project,” said the pressnote.
Last week, the DoT had granted infrastructure provider (IP) licence for K-FON, enabling it to acquire fibre optic lines, towers, duct space, network and other infrastructure facilities required for setting up an optic fibre network as well as to lease out, rent out or sell the equipment to other providers.
The pressnote said efforts were on to provide internet services to around 30,000 government offices in the State, under plans to make them paper-free institutions and improve citizen service delivery. It said that K-FON would provide free internet connectivity to BPL families and at affordable rate for other classes, making it an alternative in the corporate-dominated telecom sector.
K-FON has already shortlisted six ISPs to provide internet connection to 14,000 BPL families with the government subsidising the cost.
A total of 100 BPL families in each of the State’s 140 Assembly constituencies are being identified in the first phase through the respective local bodies to provide the free internet connection.