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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : To bridge the digital divide by providing high-speed, affordable internet connectivity to every household, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday launched the KFON (Kerala Fibre Optic Network) in the state.

Speaking at the launch event, the Chief Minister said that KFON will revolutionise the digital space.

"With KFON, free internet connectivity will be provided to 20 lakh BPL families. It will also cover villages in all 14 districts. Earlier only 10% of government offices had high-speed Internet, with the launch of KFON, 30,000 government institutions will have high brand width connectivity,' said the Chief Minister.

KFON is a joint venture of Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). A consortium led by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was selected to implement the project in March 2019.

The Chief Minister said the project will leverage the infrastructure of the Kerala State Electricity Board by establishing a core ring, and a network operating center will be set up at Eranakulam.

"Across the 14 districts in the state, a 35,000-kilometer-long optic fiber network is being laid, which once completed will be the largest such network. All service providers will have the option to use the network. The internet speed available will be from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps," the CM informed.

He said that earlier with only private internet service providers in play, cities had internet connectivity, but those in villages lagging behind.

"With KFON this scenario will be changed," he stated.

KFON is part of the Kerala government's effort to provide a digital infrastructure in the state.

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