India’s Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine fibre-optic cable between mainland (Chennai) and Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1102.38 crore (approx. $164.5 million) including operational expenses for 5 years. The project is likely to be completed by December 2018.
The approval would equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives; establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities.
It will also enable the provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing, availability of job opportunities and fulfil the vision of Digital India.
Currently the only medium of providing telecom connectivity between Mainland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands is though satellites, but the bandwidth available is limited to 1 Gbps.
“It is essential to have submarine optical fibre cable connectivity between the Mainland India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, being the only option for catering to projected future bandwidth requirements,” Government of India Cabinet said on Wednesday.