The Kerala cabinet has officially approved the “fibre optic network project” that enables free high-speed internet access to approximately 20 lakh households in the state. These households are considered to be below the poverty line in the state and the initiative is expected to be achieved by December 2020.
Current Finance Minister of Kerala Dr Thomas Isaac said the internet is being made a “basic citizen right” and the initiative will be set up by the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited and Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited.
Internet connection made a basic a citizen right. Kerala cabinet gives final nod for â¹1548 crores Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON)Project to provide Internet to every household in the state. For 20 lakh BPL households it will be free. The project to be completed by Dec 2020.— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) November 7, 2019
According to Indian Express, the project is expected to cost Rs 1548 crore and the state government said in a statement, “the K-Fon project will be constructive for projects rooted in artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) and startups. Around 30,000 schools and government offices will be connected with high-speed internet networks. In villages, local self-help groups can avail the network to conduct sales through e-commerce. At present, only about 20% of mobile towers in the state are connected through optical fibre networks.”
© Unsplash/John Schnobricj
The project's announcement is in line with a recent Kerala High Court verdict that said the right to access the Internet is part of the fundamental right to education as well as the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.