Thiruvananthapuram, March 19: Kerala has always been on top, be it in the list of literacy or sex ratio. Now Kerala makes it for the first time in the country to declare Internet access a basic right or every citizen just like food, education and water.
The Kerala government has announced a new project under which it plans to roll out free, basic Internet connections to more than 20 lakh poor families. While we are heading towards digital phase to carry out cashless transactions, we all need to have easy access to the internet. As without basic access to the Internet, all digitization initiatives will prove fruitless. Also the United Nations recommends that every country should make access to internet a Fundamental human right as well.
Finance Minister Thomas Issac said, "Internet will now become a right for the people and within 18 months the internet gateway would be set up through the K phone network at a cost of one billion Rupees. The project would make internet access the right of every citizen and the state would provide easy access to both government and non-government services through computers and mobile phones.”
"It is estimated that by 2017-18, almost all government transactions will become IT-based. Thus the right to basic Internet facility will become a prerequisite for providing civic services universally through the electronic medium," Mr. Isaac said. The project is the brainchild of Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac who unveiled the K-Fon plan in his recent budget speech. The connections would be completely free for poor families and would be made available at concessional rates. A new optical fibre network, dubbed 'K-Fon' has been proposed which would be created parallel to the existing KSEB electric power network at a cost of 1,000 crore. The project is estimated to take 18 months to complete.