Kerala is to provide free high-speed internet access to two million families living below the poverty line.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, with Kerala’s Finance Minister Dr. T. M. Thomas Isaac of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) saying on Twitter that “Internet connection made a basic a citizen right. Kerala cabinet gives final nod for ₹1548 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.”
The Kerala Fibre Optic Network is a collaboration between the Kerala State Electricity Board and Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd. A consortium led by Bharath Electronics Limited won the tender.
The Government plans to complete the €200 million project by the end of 2020.
Internet Service Providers and cable television operators will also be able to avail of the project, according to the Business Standard.
Kerala will be the first Indian state to undertake such an initiative.