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India's smallest union territory, and possibly one of its most remote, will now have submarine cable connectivity for the first time. The Kochi-Lakshadweep islands submarine optical fiber connection (KLI-SOFC) project, which was approved by the government in late 2020 and recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi, has been completed.

Enhancing Cable Connectivity and Internet Services

This project brings submarine optic fiber cable to Lakshadweep— a group of 36 islands located 200 to 440 kilometers off the Malabar Coast of India. Specifically, the KLI-SOFC project provides submarine cable connectivity from Kochi, a city in the coastal state of Kerala, to eleven Lakshadweep islands. The total distance covered by the cable is 1,868 kilometers.

The dedicated submarine cable will greatly enhance internet speeds and improve services such as government facilities, medical treatment, education, digital banking, and potentially establish Lakshadweep as a logistics hub.

By substantially enhancing internet speeds, this initiative will contribute to a remarkable improvement in various essential services. Government facilities stand to gain from more efficient and streamlined communication, facilitating quicker decision-making processes.

In the domain of medical treatment, enhanced internet connectivity can support telemedicine, enabling remote consultations and medical services. Education is another sector that stands to benefit, with faster internet speeds facilitating seamless online learning experiences. Digital banking services are poised for improvement, offering faster and more secure transactions.

Furthermore, the establishment of a dedicated submarine cable has the potential to position Lakshadweep as a logistics hub, fostering economic growth through improved connectivity and facilitating smoother trade and transportation networks.

Overall, the dedicated submarine cable holds the promise of transforming various facets of life in Lakshadweep, ushering in a new era of connectivity and opportunities.

Satellite’s Limited Capacity

Prior to this project, the only means of communication with the islands and their estimated population of 68,500 was through satellite, which had limited bandwidth capacity and could not meet the growing demand.

The project is funded by the Department of Telecommunication's Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF), and the project executing agency is Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a service provider. The project work was awarded to NEC Corporation India. The bandwidth created through this project will be available to all telecom service providers to enhance their services in the Lakshadweep Islands.

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