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PM Modi inaugurates Rs 1,072 cr Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fibre Connection
Image Credit: PIB

PM Modi inaugurates Rs 1,072 cr Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fibre Connection

| @indiablooms | 03 Jan 2024, 10:51 pm

Kavaratti (Lakshadweep): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fibre Connection (KLI-SOFC) project among various developmental initiatives worth more than Rs 1,150 crore in Lakshadweep’s capital Kavaratti.

The KLI-SOFC project will cover a wide range of sectors including technology, energy, water resources, healthcare and education and bolster internet speed in the archipelago unlocking new possibilities and opportunities.

Built at a cost of over Rs 1072 crore, the project covers a total link distance of 1,868 km.

Image Credit: PIB Image Credit: PIB

Lakshadweep, which is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, will be connected through Submarine Optic Fibre Cable for the first time since independence.

“The dedicated submarine OFC will ensure a paradigm shift in communication infrastructure in the Lakshadweep islands, enabling faster and more reliable internet services, telemedicine, e-governance, educational initiatives, digital banking, digital currency usage, digital literacy etc,” the Ministry of Communication said in a statement.

The project will play a significant role in achieving the objective of ‘Digital India’ and ‘National Broadband Mission’ and in rolling out various e-governance projects of the Government of India in Lakshadweep Islands.

Lakshadweep Islands' population will soon have access to high-speed wireline broadband connectivity, delivered through FTTH and 5G/4G mobile networks. The enhanced bandwidth resulting from this initiative will be open to all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to improve their telecommunication services in the Islands, according to the ministry.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled the guarantee given by him in 2020 about ensuring fast internet within 1,000 days.

He said, “Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection (KLI - SOFC) project has been dedicated to people today and will ensure 100 times faster Internet for the people of Lakshadweep.

“This will improve facilities like government services, medical treatment, education and digital banking. The potential of developing Lakshadweep as a logistics hub will get strength from this.”

The Prime Minister assured the people of Lakshadweep that the government will continue to take every possible step to ensure their ease of living, ease of travel and ease of doing business.

“Lakshadweep will play a strong role in the creation of a Viksit Bharat,” he said.

Background-Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine OFC (KLI) Project

The need for digitally connecting the Lakshadweep Islands through a high-capacity submarine cable link with the mainland has been felt for some time.

Earlier, the only means of communication with the Islands was through satellite medium, which had limited bandwidth capacity and was not able to meet the growing bandwidth demand.

Taking note of this, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) conceptualized the Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine OFC Project (KLI project).

The Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Cable (KLI) project submarine cable connectivity from Mainland (Kochi) to eleven Lakshadweep Islands namely, Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini, Kadmat, Chetlet, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Androth, Kiltan, Bangaram and Bitra has been extended.

The project is funded by Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecommunication.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was the Project Executing Agency and the work was awarded to NEC Corporation India Pvt Ltd through Global Open Tendering process.

Major activities related to the project include Marine Route Survey, Submarine Cable laying, Civil Construction of CLS stations, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of End Terminals (SLTE).

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