What is KFON Kerala Project?
The Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON) project is the Mega Infrastructure Project of the Government of Kerala, which aims to build a high-speed, reliable, and scalable fiber network across the state to provide connectivity to 30,000 government institutions and 20 lakh households through the transmission and distribution facility of the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited,
Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON), the dream project of the Kerala government, began on June 5.
The KFON project can provide fast internet, landline, and cable TV to all destinations where KSEB electrical posts are available. The aim is to provide free internet access to more than 20 lakh BPL families in the state.
Related: Ultra Speed Asianet Broadband Plans
The cable is installed through the transmission line infrastructure of KSEB. To a certain extent, this method avoids digging the road.
The Government aims to bring more than 40 lakhs of end-users through KSEB’s distribution network to homes and offices. This distribution network is connected to the substation (core network). Local agencies will be assigned to this distribution.
Besides, there is a 600 km underground cable. The KSEB has a network capacity of 2 lakh km in the state. Initially, only a quarter of it is consumed.
The Infrastructure of the KFON Project
The equipment and cables for the KFON project are imported from South Korea. The first phase of the work is almost over.
The cables used in the KFON project combine ADSS (All Dielectric Self Supporting) Fiber Optic Cable and OPGW (Optical Ground Wire). This combination guarantees the best standards and reliability.
KSEB uses ADSS cables through power poles and OPGW cables (core lines) on the main lines of the KSEB transmission towers.
A KSEB substation in each district will be connected to the main network. This substation is known as the Core Point of Presence (POP).
The 14 districts are connected in the form of two rings (ring topology). Because it connects in a loop, the advantage is that in the event of a network failure, the data will travel to the other side in the opposite direction, which ensures break-free connectivity.
The core layer is connected to the Kochi Infopark Network Operating Center, the Pattom Power House Disaster Recovery Center, Thiruvananthapuram, and the State Data Centers.
The data transmission in the core layer is at a speed of 800 Gbps. The network operating center at Kochi Infopark will be responsible for functional coordination. The Pattam Disaster Response Center will be used in the event of an emergency.
The imported equipment will be used for the project only after inspection by government-appointed experts. The control room of the project has been started already in Kochi by December 2019.
All the government offices in the state will be converted to the e-Governance system with optical fiber cables reaching through KSEB’s network. And free internet access will be available to educational institutions.
Also, the K FON Kerala project is to provide households with Landlines, Internet, and cable TV through the same network.
It will set up 2000 WiFi Hotspots across the state. This last-mile connectivity point will be available to all schools, hospitals, offices, and homes.
District Collectors have already compiled a list of WiFi Hotspots in each district. The tender was awarded to BSNL. This includes libraries, parks, bus stands, government offices, and tourist centers.
KSEB and Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited have formed a joint venture partnership with KSEB for the project.
KSITL and KSEB will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture company (SPV), which is set up to put Internet cable through the high-speed transmission network. KSITL, with its IT mission technical assistance, is moving to the cable network.
The project has been granted the Infrastructure Provider Category 1 license, allowing it to begin providing infrastructure services in July 2022. It then obtained a license to operate as an internet service provider.
For the operation of KFON, a partnership led by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been created, which also comprises Railtel, SRIT, and LS Cable.
Bharat Electronics Limited, a public sector undertaking under the Defense Department for Rs 1,531 crore., is in charge of planning, execution, control, procurement, and monitoring. Another PSU, Railtel, will be responsible for the supply, installation, testing, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of all IT components.
SRIT is in charge of ADSS cable installation, non-IT activities, NOC services, and implementation. RailTel’s Network Operations Center is managed by SRIT. SRIT also offers managed services.
As Indicated, home phones, cable TVs, computers, and laptops can work simultaneously in this system.
Those who have an Internet service provider license can access their services through this program. Cable TV operators also have the opportunity to collaborate with K-FON to bring their services to the masses.
More than 30000 government institutions and educational institutions will be able to access internet connections from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps speed through this K-FON Kerala project.
Who Are the Beneficiaries of KFON?
The Kerala government has stated that it will provide broadband internet access to all households in the state, regardless of economic or geographical restrictions.
Each assembly constituency will initially have 100 families connected. These families will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis from one or more nearby wards within the local government body boundaries, as indicated by the local MLA.
Wards with significant SC/SC populations and KFON connectivity will be examined for this reason.
According to the government proposal, internet connections would be available to 75 lakh homes in the state. Around 20 lakh economically disadvantaged families would benefit from this.
Others can access KFON at a low cost and on a commercial basis for private organizations. In addition, the government has declared that the Internet will be made available to around 30,000 government facilities such as schools, hospitals, and workplaces via KFON.
KFON is establishing 2000 free Wi-Fi hotspots for the public to use, as well as a Wi-Fi network that may be accessed for free or at a low fee by individuals who visit government offices for services.
Around 14,000 ration stores, over 2,000 Supplico outlets, and other government institutions such as Kerala Bank will also be commercially connected.
How Is the Project Beneficial to Other MSOs and Local Cable Operators?
Any internet services provider like BSNL, VI, and Jio can provide their service using the network of the Government’s flagship project K-Fon (Kerala Fiber Optic Network).
Initially, the project did not aim to become an Internet service provider but to build a strong base of optical fiber networks across the state. But recently, they got approved as an Internet service provider.
Cable TV operators also have the opportunity to collaborate with K-FON to bring their services to the masses. Providers who are interested to establish a fast network in Kerala can use the KFON network instead of developing a new network.
The government will charge according to the bandwidth used. But the network is not limited to one service provider. Multiple companies can use this facility.
The IT department has clarified that the K-Fon is not a rival to networks like Reliance Jio Fiber. The government’s mission is to provide the infrastructure.
According to the government, KFON is a vendor-neutral fiber network rather than a service provider. This fiber network may be used by a variety of service providers to deliver telecom services.
KFON aspires to develop a vast network that spans all areas that commercial service providers are unable to reach.
KFON’s dark fiber network will be leased to service providers across the state. Service providers can expand their 4G/5G networks with the aid of this fiber network.
Aside from that, KFON has extensive revenue plans that include collecting service charges from providing connections in government institutions, providing a dedicated internet network for centralized institutions such as the Treasury, providing internet connections to homes on a commercial basis, providing dedicated connections, and providing a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network for corporate companies.
Progress of the KFON Project
The KFON project was launched on June 5. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that with this initiative, 20 lakh impoverished people in the state would be able to receive high-speed internet for free or at a reasonable cost.
KFON presently connects around 18000 government entities to the internet. The infrastructure needed to link 7,000 residences has been finished. Furthermore, the Chief Minister indicated that 748 connections have been made available.
The central OPGW cable creation of the 2600-kilometer KFON project has been completed, totaling 2519 km. According to the government, 19118 km of the 22876 km of ADSS cable have been finished.
Kochi Infopark Tapasya has a network control facility (NOC-Network Operations Center). From here, internet access will be made available to various sites throughout Kerala via Points of Presence centers located at 376 KSEB substations.
In this regard, 373 Points of Presence have been established. Others will be available shortly.
KFON provides internet services via a vast network infrastructure that extends from the network operations center to 14 core POP centers, 94 ring aggregation networks, 186 pre-aggregation ring networks, and 81 spur cable connection hubs.
Kerala Fiber Optical Network Limited (KFON) has been granted the necessary infrastructure provider (IP) license by the Central Department of Telecommunications to provide infrastructure and services.
Kerala Fiber Optic Network Limited (KFON) has been approved as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They now have the legal ability to give internet connectivity to any individual or organization, and KFON has entered the market rivalry of internet service providers.
Previously, it was decided that customers would have to rely on other internet service providers, and KFON would not be an ISP.
However, the ISP requested the license to earn revenue to offset the cost burden of connecting government offices and offering free services to low-income families.
Buying bandwidth from telecom companies and charging a fee to provide the service. BSNL has won the tender to provide bandwidth for a year.
Educational institutions, hospitals, and the Akshaya Center would then be in KFON service. 20 lakh BPL families will be enabled with free internet facilities in the next phase.
Related: Kerala Vision Broadband Plans
The total length of the optical fiber cable installed in Kerala can now only reach less than 30,000 km. This includes 20,000 kilometers of BSNL and 5000 kilometers of Jio.
With the new system, optical fiber cable will be available even in remote areas.
How To Apply For a KFON Connection?
KFON is available to users thanks to the clearance of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which is part of the Ministry of Telecom.
The Department of Telecommunications has granted them IP-1 certification and an ISP B license. Due to TRAI regulations, connectivity will be granted only once precise client information is provided.
To get the KFON connection, first download KFON’s mobile application (EnteKfon), which is available on the Play Store and App Store.
Then, in the app, select “new customer” and register by providing your name, mobile number, address, district, location, and pin code.
Local network providers will provide connections on a pin code basis by taking further steps related to providing connections by directly contacting the customers from the Business Support Center.
Kerala Vision draws the line at homes. The KFON app has a FAQ section to clear doubts and a tariff section to understand the charges.
KFON Broadband Plans
Tariff information for nine KFON broadband plans for six months has been revealed.
The package with 3,000 GB of data for 6 months at 20 Mbps speed is the cheapest of the lot. The charge is Rs 1,794 for six months at Rs 299 per month.
The package costs Rs 2,094 for six months and Rs 349 for one month and includes 3,000 GB of internet at 30 Mbps.
The other KFON Kerala plans are as detailed below.
|Speed (Mbps)||Data Limit (GB)||Validity (Days)||Monthly Rate (Rs)||6 months Rate (Rs)|
Frequently Asked Questions
KFON is the government’s most extensive fiber network set up to deliver high-speed internet to every corner of Kerala. The only goal of the government is to lay the optic fiber cable infrastructure and preserve it. The Internet can be provided by established Internet service providers.KFON is not an Internet Service Provider.
Most Internet service providers use their fiber-optic network. The installation and maintenance of this network are very expensive.
In addition, almost all major ISPs in Kerala have to pay a huge amount to KSEB and PWD for laying their cables.
Thus, instead of using a separate network, if there is a common fiber-optic infrastructure, any operator can use it by paying a nominal amount. That’s exactly what KFON intended to do.
KFON broadband plan tariff information for nine plans for six months has been revealed. These are at the rates of Rs. 1794, 2094, 2394, 2694, 2994, 3594, 4794, 5994, and 7494.
You will get the KFON connection by applying through the EnteKfon mobile app.
The Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON) project is a mega infrastructure project of the Kerala Government that aims to build a high-speed, reliable, and scalable fiber network across the state to connect 30,000 government institutions and 20 lakh households via the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited’s transmission and distribution facility.
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