Updated: August 10, 2020 1:33:34 pm
In a major boost to telecom services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first ever under sear Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair to ensure high speed broadband connectivity for the Union Territory that is at par with services in the mainland.
Modi, who had laid the foundation for the 2,312-kilometre project on December 30, 2018, today said: “From Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, this service has started in large part of Andaman Nicobar from today.”
“The 2,312-km cable will not just boost digital connectivity of Andaman Islands with the mainland but also boost tourism,” he added.
The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat.
Modi also said that it is the responsibility of the nation to provide modern telecom connectivity to the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“The bigger the project, the more number of challenges. Am glad that after all the delays, we have completed the work. It is our duty to provide telecom services to the hardworking people of one of the most important regions,” Modi said.
The submarine optical fibre cable link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands.
“Provision of reliable, robust, and high-speed telecom and broadband facilities in these islands will be a landmark achievement from the viewpoint of consumers, as well as for strategic and governance reasons,” an official release had earlier said.
Besides this, 4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite will also see a major boost.
“Enhanced telecom and broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the Islands, give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living. Better connectivity will also facilitate delivery of e-Governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education,” the statement added.
Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises will also benefit from better connectivity.
The project is funded by the Government through the Universal Service Obligation Fund under Ministry of Communications.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executed the project while Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) was the technical consultant. About 2,300 km of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1,224 crore, and the project has been completed in time, the statement noted.
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