2,313 km, Rs 1,224 crore, up to 400 GBPS: How OFC connects Chennai-Andaman, Nicobar
Nidhi Singal August 10, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair. The Chennai-Andaman Nicobar Under Sea Internet Cable Project will give a big boost to the local economy by enabling delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India.
This undersea cable will connect seven islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands including Port Blair, Swaraj Dweep (Havlock), Long Island, Rangat, Little Andaman, Kamorta, Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar. While up to 400 Gb/s internet speed will be available in Port Blair, up to 200 Gb/s speed will be accessible in other islands.
With the foundation stone for the project laid on December 30, 2018 at Port Blair, this project has been executed by BSNL in the record period of just 20 months. Spanning across 2,313 km, the cost of implementation of the undersea cable laid between Chennai and Port Blair is Rs 1,224 crore.
The project is funded by the Government of India through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications. While BSNL executed this project, Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) was the technical consultant
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated on the completion of the project before time. He commended the implementation of the cables under sea, surveying under deep sea, maintaining cable quality and using special vessels to deploy cables, which wasn't an easy task, especially given the high waves, storms, monsoon and the tough times owing to coronavirus pandemic.
Under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase. High Impact Projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. The major problem of mobile and internet connectivity has been resolved today. Apart from this, physical connectivity through road, air and water is also being strengthened, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This will not just boost the use of digital services such as tele-education, tele-health, e-governance service but also tourism on the islands. Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will utilise the enhanced availability of bandwidth for e-learning and knowledge sharing. Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises will also reap the benefits of better connectivity.
The government is committed to the speedy development of national security linked border areas and island states. Andaman and Nicobar will be developed as a hub of Port Led Development as it is at a Competitive Distance from many ports of the World.
Prime Minister Modi added, "A country which has better network of ports and their connectivity will be able to provide a boost to trade in the 21st Century. Today, when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is establishing itself as an important player in the Global Supply and Value Chain, it is very important to strengthen our network of Waterways and our Ports." The legal bottlenecks in the development of Port Infrastructure are also being removed continuously.
The government's focus is also on promoting Ease of Business in the sea and simplifying Maritime Logistics. The speedy construction of the deep draft inner harbor and the proposal to construct TransShipment Port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of about Rs 10,000 crore would enable big ships to anchor and would increase India's share in maritime trade, along with new employment opportunities.