Kochi: In the coming years, rather than being known for its literacy levels, Kerala will be called as ‘The Internet State’ of the country. This will be the case because Kerala state finance minister Thomas Issac has proposed to make internet access a basic human right in his budget speech.
The said decision is expected to benefit 2 million households by providing them with internet access. Following Finland’s footsteps, the state aims to accelerate development and growth with this move.
The project named ‘K-FON (Kerala Fibre Optic Network)’ has amassed a whopping sum of ₹ 1 billion in the budget. The project is expected to be completed within a time frame of just 18 months, courtesy of the presence of healthy internet penetration in the state.
Speaking about the initiative, M Sivasankar, Secretary, Department of electronics and information technology said, The government’s idea will be to deliver internet connectivity with a limited bandwidth to individual households through an optic fibre network to be established parallel to the distribution network of the Kerala State Electricity Board(KSEB).
The project will make the Internet accessible to everyone, hence, stimulating progress in every field including education, hospitality, and governance. Although the state already supports schemes such as Akshaya centers providing internet across Kerala, K-Fon will reach to urban as well as rural areas of the region. It aims to impact the life of every individual residing within the boundaries of the state.
Kerala has earlier been crowned as the ‘Digital State’ in India for its issued schemes under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project. The project connected all small and major villages of the state through a broadband connection and hence aided in extending better infrastructure facilities to citizens.
Moreover, it is compulsory for every student in the region to have basic IT knowledge. This law was passed in 2003 mandated schools to impart IT education. As per data generated by Government agencies, the number of internet users in a rural area in Kerala was 5.97 million which accounted for 5.29% share in India, as of January 2016.
(source: Tech Portal)