Kerala says internet is a right, will provide connections to everybody
All government transactions will soon be IT-based, said Kerala's finance minister Thomas Isaac. Therefore, a basic internet facility will become a universal prerequisite. Photograph: (AFP)
Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac announced Friday that free internet connections will be provided to 20 lakh poor families, to others at subsidised rates.
Calling it a decisive step towards eliminating the digital divide, Issac said, “Kerala is poised to become one of the rare regimes where internet facility will be the right of a citizen. This will provide hindrance-free access to government and non-government services including educational, health, social welfare and entertainment.”
“It is estimated that by 2017-18 almost all government transactions will become IT-based. Thus, the right for basic internet facility will become a prerequisite for providing civic services universally through electronic medium,” he added.
HIs comments were made during his budget 2017-18 speech.
Issac said internet would be provided to every citizen via a fibre-optic network called K Phone.
The K phone network will be similar to the KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) network.
“Within 18 months, the internet gateway would be set up through the K phone network at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore," the former economist said.
The state government also plans to set up wi-fi transmission centres at Akshaya Centres, Friends Janasevana Kendras, government offices, libraries, and public places.