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PM unveils under-water optical fibre network for high-speed internet in Andamans

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi recently inaugurated project the under-water optical fibre network project on Monday and promises a 2,300-km submarine optical fibre cable network that will connect the islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Chennai.

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One of the most talked-about projects under the Smart City mandate to be accomplished in Andamans and Nicobar Island is their Underwater optical fiber network project which is intended to strengthen the network connectivity in the island territory and bring it under the fair competition mode with the other states and union territories in the main-land of the sub-continent, which are priveledged for various reasons. 

The submarine optical fibre from Chennai to Port Blair that promises fifth-generation (5G) connectivity, the latest in cellular wireless technology, to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be the first step for India to set up an alternative to China for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to gain international connectivity, experts say.

The project, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, promises a 2,300-km submarine optical fibre cable network that will connect the islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Chennai. The submarine fibre network is estimated to cost Rs 1,224 crore and a bulk of the fibre being sourced from NEC Corporation Japan, which also provided technical assistance during the installation, said a department of telecommunications (DoT) official.

"We at NEC Technologies India, are delighted with the completion of a major part of Chennai-Andaman undersea cable project which has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 10th August. It is indeed a matter of great privilege and honor to be a part of the first ever 2,312-kilometer undersea optical fibre cable project for Island connectivity in India", said an official statement issued by NEC Technologies which happens to be the implementing agency for the project. 

The statement further elaborated that connecting Chennai and seven islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, this project brings high-speed broadband connectivity in the union territory to boost tourism and generate new employment in the Islands. This will lead to an increase in the standard of living and will further result in augmenting the economy of the Islands. 

Enhanced connectivity will also facilitate delivery of e-Governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education. Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will utilize the bandwidth for e-learning and knowledge sharing which will eventually play a significant role in driving the "Digital India" vision.

"We are proud to be chosen by BSNL for executing this project of immense national importance. We also would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the stakeholders for their support and guidance in helping us successfully deliver this project under the current tough circumstances due to COVID-19", said the statement further.