News: Prime Minister has launched the submarine optical fibre cable project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Submarine optical fibre cable project: It is a 2,300 kilometre undersea cable that provides better connectivity from Chennai to Port Blair and seven other Islands — Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Long Island, Rangat, Hutbay (Little Andaman), Kamorta, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay(Great Nicobar).
- Funding: The connectivity project was funded by the Centre through the Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF) under the Ministry of Communications.
- Implementation: It was executed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited(TCIL) was the technical consultant.
- Significance: It will improve internet connectivity in the Andaman and Nicobar islands enabling its citizens to use net banking, e-commerce, online education and telemedicine facilities.
- Submarine communications cable: It is a cable laid on the seabed between land-based stations to transmit telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.
- Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF): It was set up in 2002 and was given statutory status under the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003.
- Objective: Enabling rural Indians to achieve their fullest potential and participate productively in the development of the nation by virtue of being effectively connected through a reliable and ubiquitous telecommunications network.