Kerala

Internet access to be made right of every citizen

Taking a decisive step towards bridging the digital divide, the State Budget has unveiled a project to provide Internet connection free of cost for 20 lakh poor families and at concessional rate for others.

In his budget speech in the Assembly on Friday, Mr. Isaac said the project would make access to Internet services the right of every citizen and provide easy access to government and non-government services through computer and mobile phone.

A new optical fibre network has been proposed to take Internet services to every household. Named K-Fon, the pathway would be created parallel to the KSEB electric power network and is estimated to be completed within 18 months. The capital investment of ₹1,000 crore would be provided through KIIFB.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said Wi-Fi transmission centres would be established at Akshaya centres, Janasevana Kendras, government offices, libraries, and public places through K-Fon for citizens to access Internet facilities.

“It is estimated that by 2017-18, almost all government transactions will become IT-based. Thus the right to basic Internet facility will become a prerequisite for providing civic services universally through the electronic medium,” Dr. Isaac said.

Hardware making hub

The budget has also outlined the government’s bid to promote Kerala as an IT hardware manufacturing hub. Dr. Isaac has proposed the establishment of 12 hardware manufacturing parks. A Japanese-Korean industrial cluster would be set up at Mavoor. A hardware mission would be created to coordinate the activities.

Of the total outlay of ₹549 crore for the IT sector, the major chunk has been earmarked for construction and expansion of IT parks, including Technopark, Infopark, Cyberpark, and Techno Lodges.

As many as 1,500 start-ups would b provided assistance by KSIDC and KFC.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 7:32:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala/article17401919.ece

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