The government has launched a project worth Rs 12.24 billion to lay 2,250 km of submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) for bridging the digital gap between Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Under the project,  Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be connected with the mainland through OFC providing high-speed broadband in all parts of the islands. The submarine cable project will connect mainland (Chennai) to Port Blair and seven other islands – Havelock, Long Island, Ranga, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay. The depth of laying the cable ranges from 1,000 feet to 3 km.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the project implementation agency for the project and the work has been awarded to NEC Technologies India through a global open tender. Further, the project is being funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund/Department of Technology.

BSNL has targeted to commission the link by June 2020. At the time of initial commissioning of the system, 400 Gbps throughput will be available for connecting Chennai and Port Blair.

Additionally, the government announced that a similar project to connect Kochi with Lakshadweep group of islands will be taken up at a cost of Rs 10 billion.