08 Aug PM Modi to inaugurate Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar submarine cable project on Monday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a Rs 1,224-crore subsea optical fibre cable system linking Chennai and Port Blair on August 10, which will boost landline and mobile broadband connectivity in the picturesque Andaman & Nicobar islands. The subsea cable link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gbps between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands within the archipelago. It will also bolster 4G mobile coverage in the islands, which till now was constrained by limited satellite-based backhaul availability.
“Some 2,300 km of submarine OFC has been laid at a cost of roughly Rs 1,224 crore, and the project has been completed in time,” an official statement said. Provision of high-speed broadband facilities in the islands, it added, would be “a landmark achievement from the viewpoint of consumers, as well as for strategic and governance reasons”. The project foundation stone had been laid by the prime minister nearly 2 years ago in Port Blair.
The strategic submarine cable link is funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), an independent arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that subsidises network infrastructure in the country’s rural and remote corners. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has executed the project while Telecommunications Consultants India (TCIL) was the technical consultant.
Stronger broadband connectivity is slated to boost tourism and employment generation in the islands, and lend impetus to the local economy and raise living standards. It is also likely to facilitate delivery of e-governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education. Small enterprises are likely to gain from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will be able to use enhanced bandwidth availability for e-learning and knowledge sharing.