Dedicated Submarine OFC Between Kochi and 11 Lakshadweep Islands

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    The direct communication link between Kochi and 11 islands of Lakshadweep could soon be a reality. The submarine optical fibre cable connectivity with the mainland will be carried out at a cost of ₹1072 crore.

    The dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connectivity project between Kochi and Lakshadweep Islands will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The project would be completed by May 2023.

    Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity with Mainland:

    As per the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the state-owned telecom player BSNL along with Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd (TCIL) will monitor the much-needed Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity. BSNL will function as the Project Execution Agency and the TCIL as the technical consultant.

    The cabinet approved a sum of ₹1072 crore including operational expenses for 5 years for this prestigious project. The large bandwidth provision through submarine optical fibre cable connectivity will bring major improvements in telecommunication facility.

    This will facilitate better connectivity between Kochi and 11 islands of Lakshadweep.

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    Impact of Telecommunications Sector on Other Areas:

    Once the telecommunications sector witnesses a major improvement, it will be reflected in all the other services. It includes faster e-Governance, e-commerce, high-value tourism, fisheries and coconut-based industries, healthcare, and educational facilities.

    To the unaware, the Lakshadweep Islands form the smallest Union Territory of India and their total surface area is just 32 sq km. Kavaratti serves as the capital of the Union Territory and the region comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala High Court.

    The main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy, Amini, Kalpeni, Androth, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan and Kadmat.

    Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for North Eastern Region

    Apart from the Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity project, the Union Cabinet also sanctioned the Universal Service Obligation Fund Scheme at an estimated cost of ₹2,029 crores. This is meant to prove mobile network coverage in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam (KarbiAnglong and Dima Hasao).

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