KFON, is Kerala Government's audacious project aiming to obviate the digital divide in society and serve as a complementary infrastructure to the existing telecom ecosystem in the State. KFON, is based on principles of non-discriminatory treatment as recommended by TRAI,
without any preferential treatment to any service provider or business segment. Essentially, it acts as information super-highway through the creation of a robust core and middle-mile infrastructure and can be leveraged by any provider at any level in the business strata– TSP/ISP/MSO/LCO.
The State Government, vide the G.O (Ms) No. 2017/ITD dated 18.05.2017, had accorded administrative sanction for KFON project with a total cost of Rs 1028.00 crore. The KFON project, aims to build a state wide optical fiber network infrastructure for providing high speed connectivity to all Government, educational institutions (approx. 30000 numbers) and to provide free internet connections to 20 lakh BPL families in the State. The new fiber pathway is proposed to create 3 in parallel to the electric power network of KSEB Ltd. KSEB Ltd will be investing in KFON to the extent of the pole rentals, ROW charges, fiber hire charges and any other usage charges, which are likely to considered with respect to using the Transmission and Distribution infrastructure of KSEB Ltd. In lieu of this, 50% share in the executing SPV will be issued to KSEB Ltd
KSITIL is designated as the implementing agency for the project. KSITIL and KSEB Ltd formed a 50:50 Joint Venture Company with equal shareholding. KSITIL will also be the partner for Operations and maintenance of the project.The asset shall owned by KSEBL but KSEBL will unconditionally allow the full usage of the fibre by KSITIL for the KFON network after provisioning of the fibre required for the KSEB operations. The State Government vide the G.O (Ms) No. 22/2017/ITD dated 13.10.2017 has accorded in-principle approval for the formation of a JV with the association of KSITIL and KSEB Ltd with equal equity participation for the implementation of the KFON project with KIIFB assistance. The equity participation of the KSEB Ltd in the new JV will be treated as quid pro quo for sharing the assets and resources of KSEB Ltd for the implementation of the project. The Government also constituted a core committee with CMD, KSEB Ltd as the Chairman of the committee and Secretary IT, KSITIL/KSITM officials as members to monitor the implementation the KFON project.
M/s.BEL is the system integrator for the KFON project, the main responsibility of it is the network roll out for 35000Kms of Optical fibre cable network, setting up of 375 network point of presence locations and provide connectivity to 30000 government institutions. It has also signed up the contract for the operation and maintenance of the project for a period of 7 years.
Funding for the KFON project is being done by KIIFB, the principal funding arm of the Government of Kerala under its Finance Department which raises funds in the medium and long term to finance critical and large infrastructure projects in the state. KIIFB mobilizes and channels funds for facilitating the planned and sustainable development of KFON infrastructure. KIIFB has been restructured to act as the key Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for mobilizing and channelling the funds to the various infrastructure SPVs.