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)
Free connections will be given to 20 lakh poor families, to others at subsidised rates
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.