Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today, in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep, inaugurated Kochi-Lakshadweep islands submarine optical fiber connection (KLI-SOFC) project among various developmental projects worth more than Rs 1,150 crore covering a wide range of sectors including technology, energy, water resources, healthcare and education.
The KLI-SOFC project will lead to an increase in internet speed unlocking new possibilities & opportunities. For the first time since independence, Lakshadweep will be connected through Submarine Optic Fibre Cable. 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.
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”. He added, “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. The Prime Minister highlighted that “Lakshadweep will play a strong role in the creation of a Viksit Bharat”.
Administrator of UT of Lakshadweep, Shri Praful Patel was present on the occasion among others.
Background-Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine OFC (KLI) Project
- The need for digitally connecting the Lakshadweep Islands through a high capacity submarine cable link with the main land 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.
- The Department of Telecommunications (DOT) took immediate action and conceptualized the Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine OFC Project (KLI project). The KLI project has been completed well within the timelines.
- In 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 M/s NEC Corporation India Pvt Ltd through Global Open Tendering process. Major activities related to the project includes Marine Route Survey, Submarine Cable laying, Civil Construction of CLS stations, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of End Terminals (SLTE).
Highlights of the KLI Project:
- Total link distance: 1,868 kilometres.
- Total cost of project : Rs 1072 crore plus taxes.
Benefit of the KLI Project:
- The project will play a significant role in achieving the objective of ‘Digital India’ and ‘National Broadband Mission’ and for rolling out of various e-governance projects of Government of India in Lakshadweep Islands.
- E-Governance, Tourism, Education, Health, Commerce and Industries will get a boost. It will also help in further improvement in standards of living of the people in Island and will accelerate overall social and economic development in these areas.
- Population of Lakshadweep Islands will be provided high speed wireline broadband connectivity.
- High speed broadband will be provided through FTTH and 5G/4G Mobile network.
- The bandwidth created under this project will be available to all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to strengthen their telecom services in the Lakshadweep Islands..