Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and dedicated to the nation submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair through video conferencing. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Mr Modi on 30th December 2018 at Port Blair. The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat. This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Enhanced telecom and Broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the Islands and also give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living. Better connectivity will facilitate delivery of e-Governance services like telemedicine and tele-education. Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, educational institutions will utilize enhanced availability of bandwidth for learning and knowledge sharing.
The submarine Optical Fibre Cable link will deliver bandwidth of 2×200 Gigabits per second, Gbps between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2×100 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. 4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite will also see a major improvement. Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises will also reap the benefits of better connectivity.
The project is funded by the Government of India through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications in Ministry of Communications. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executed this project while Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) is the Technical Consultants. About 2,300 Kilometers of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable has been laid at a cost of about 1 thousand 2 hundred 24 Crore rupees and the project has been completed in time.