India launches submarine cable lines to A&N Islands

An optical fibre cable line has been laid between Chennai and Port Blair with proposed bandwidth of 2 x 200 GB to improve connectivity in the Islands

August 10, 2020

The project will help drive the islands’ potential as an enabler of the new Indo-Pacific trade strategy.

Improved connectivity to drive digitization in banking, medicine, education, trading, and tourism.

E-governance, 4G technology will help raise employment opportunities for the islands’ inhabitants.

BSNL, Department of Telecommunications and Telecommunications Consultants India led the project.

An optical fibre cable (OFC) line connecting the Andaman & Nicobar Islands to the mainland was inaugurated on August 10 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The project which was initiated in 2018 is integral to tapping into the islands’ potential as an enabler of the new Indo-Pacific trade strategy. The cable connection which has been placed between Chennai and Port Blair will play an integral role in providing high-speed internet connectivity, thereby catalyzing digitization in banking, medicine, education, and trading in addition to boosting tourism opportunities. 

With the connectivity, the advantages of e-Governance will be efficiently extended to the Andaman & Nicobar islands and employment opportunities can be expected to increase. The project, worth US$165 million, is an undertaking by the Government of India through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Department of Telecommunications in consultation with the Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL). 

The Digital India initiative seeks to transform the nation into a digitally empowered economy. Under the aegis of Digital India, multiple industries and goals are seamlessly integrated to give Indian citizens access to good governance as well as opportunities to enhance digital literacy. The programme has also facilitated quality ties with global entities like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook among others to boost the MSME ecosystem and prepare the youth of the nation to join the workforce of the future. 

The proliferation of digital payments, telemedicine, and banking are some of the initiatives undertaken by Digital India. The Telecommunications sector in India is a crucial participant in the accomplishment of the key objectives of the Digital India initiative. 

As part of extending internet and telephone connectivity to regions with limited accessibility, the Government of India is currently in the process of installing 6,410 mobile towers across two phases in regions affected by extremism. National spending on telecom infrastructure has been recorded at US$8.4 billion during the 2014-19 period. With aggressive efforts to extend internet connectivity across the nation, the telecommunications sector can look towards attracting significant investments and catering to a larger national corpus of consumers.