Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT and Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday launched the submarine cable link laying work connecting Chennai and Port Blair, which would also meet the strategic communication requirement of country’s defence forces.
Prasad inaugurated the cable laying work here in the presence of Andaman and Nicobar Lt Governor Admiral DK Joshi. Speaking on the occasion, Prasad termed it as a milestone in connectivity. The project will connect Port Blair along with seven other Islands of Andaman and Nicobar —Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Havelock, Long Island and Rangat.
The total length of the submarine cable project was 2,250 km and will have four fibre pairs. Each fibre pair has the ultimate capacity of 6.4 Tbps with very low latency. At present, the combined availability for Andaman and Nicobar islands was only 3.2 Gbps. At the initial stage of commissioning itself bandwidth availability will be 400 Gbps which was nearly 100 times of the existing capacity.
The commissioning of this project will lead to socio economic development of A & N Islands due to increased economic activities, including tourism. BSNL has been appointed as the Project Execution Agency (PEA) by DOT/USOF and the work has been awarded to M/s NEC Technlogies India Private Limited through global open tendering process. The link was expected to be commissioned by June this year.
The Cable System will be maintained by BSNL and the bandwidth created under this project will be available to all Telecom Service providers to extend their telecom services to the A & N Islands.
The submarine cable will also meet the strategic communication requirement of country’s defence forces. Eight new greenfield buildings for housing Cable Landing Stations (CLS) were built in a record time. All equipment in Chennai and Port Blair were installed and at other places the work was in an advanced stage.
The ship ‘Straider’ reached Chennai in November last year for pre-laying activities and the work has been completed between Chennai and A & N Islands. The ship ‘CS Responder’ has already reached Chennai for commencing the cable laying work at seabed from Friday.