India's government has decided to build a submarine cable between the city of Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which is about 200km east of India, way out in the Bay of Bengal.
The estimated cost of the project, which is Rs 1,102.38 crore ($164,5 million) includes operational expenses for 5 years, and is likely to be completed by December 2018.
The project would allow the implementation of e-governance initiatives; establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities
in the islands.
As of now the telecom service in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) is dependent only on satellite connectivity
and the bandwidth of which is limited to 1 GBPS only.
“Lack of bandwidth and telecom connectivity is hampering socio-economic development of the islands. Hence, it is essential to have submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connectivity between the mainland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands,” an official release said.
The dedicated submarine OFC will connect mainland (Chennai) and Port Blair and five other islands — Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.
The islands are of immense strategic significance for India. Their geographical configuration and location in the Bay of Bengal safeguard India
's eastern seaboard.