PM launches 2,300-km undersea cable project to boost Andamans internet connectivity

After 'Digital Andaman', PM plans to make it hub of 'blue economy'

PM Inaugurates Submarine Optic Fibre Cable Connecting Chennai, Port Blair

"Today, 10th August is a special day for my sisters and brothers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first ever undersea optical fibre project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will provide high speed broadband connections in the Union Territory at par with services in the mainland.

Speaking after inaugurating submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that the importance of our islands including Andaman and Nicobar Islands has increased as India is following the new policy and practice of trade and cooperation in Indo-Pacific.

"The bigger the project, the more number of challenges. But I am happy that this work was completed, bypassing all the obstacles", the Prime Minister said.

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Airtel is said to have had a presence in Andaman and Nicobar since 2005 with the company highlighting that it was "first private operator to launch mobile services" in the region.

Seven islands of Andaman and Nicobar islands other than Portblair are connected namely Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat. The release said enhanced telecom and broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the islands, give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living. Call drops have been frequent in the islands so far and connectivity speeds have been low and unreliable. BSNL will enhance data speeds across all the plans between 2-10 times after the launch of the project without charging any extra amount from the customers, according to details shared by the company.

"Laying 2,300 km cable under sea and that too, before schedule, while also maintaining the quality of cable is a commendable job".

Saying this project will boost tourism in the Islands, Prime Minister expressed happiness over completion of the project before deadline.

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India will also construct its own array of seabed-based surveillance sensors stretching from Indonesia's Sumatra Island to Indira Point in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A major issue of mobile and internet connectivity has been solved today, and we're working towards solving road, air and water connectivity.

"Tourists will now be in no rush to return and thus, they will enjoy the sea-food and the islands".

About 2,300 km of submarine OFC cable has been laid at a cost of about ₹1,224 crore and the project has been completed in time, it said.

All the modern infrastructure that is being developed in Andaman Nicobar is a key aspect for blue economy, PM Modi said, adding: "A major part of blue economy is fisheries, aqua culture and sea-weed farming".

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