In Kavaratti, Lakshadweep, today, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection (KLI-SOFC) project, part of a comprehensive development initiative exceeding Rs 1,150 crore. This multi-sectoral endeavor encompasses technology, energy, water resources, healthcare, and education.
The KLI-SOFC initiative is set to enhance internet speed, unlocking new possibilities and opportunities for Lakshadweep. For the first time since independence, the islands will be connected through a Submarine Optic Fiber Cable, ensuring a transformative impact on communication infrastructure. This dedicated submarine OFC promises faster and more reliable internet services, facilitating telemedicine, e-governance, educational initiatives, digital banking, digital currency usage, and digital literacy.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister emphasized the commitment made in 2020 to ensure fast internet within 1,000 days. He stated, “The Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection project has been dedicated to the people today and will ensure 100 times faster internet for the people of Lakshadweep.” The Prime Minister highlighted the project’s potential to improve government services, medical treatment, education, and digital banking, further strengthening Lakshadweep’s role as a logistics hub.
The Prime Minister assured the residents of Lakshadweep that the government would continue to take steps to enhance their ease of living, travel, and business. He emphasized that Lakshadweep would play a crucial role in the development of a “Viksit Bharat.”
Among the dignitaries present at the occasion was the Administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, Shri Praful Patel.
The necessity of digitally connecting Lakshadweep Islands through a high-capacity submarine cable link with the mainland had been evident for some time. The Department of Telecommunications (DOT) promptly conceptualized the Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine OFC Project (KLI project), which has been completed within the specified timelines.
The KLI project extended submarine cable connectivity from the mainland (Kochi) to eleven Lakshadweep Islands. The project, funded by the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunication, saw Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as the Project Executing Agency, with M/s NEC Corporation India Pvt Ltd awarded the work through a Global Open Tendering process.
The project, spanning a total link distance of 1,868 kilometers, incurred a total cost of Rs 1072 crore plus taxes. It is anticipated to play a significant role in realizing the objectives of ‘Digital India’ and the ‘National Broadband Mission,’ facilitating the rollout of various e-governance projects in Lakshadweep.
E-governance, tourism, education, health, commerce, and industries are expected to receive a boost, contributing to an overall enhancement in the standards of living and socio-economic development in the Lakshadweep Islands. The high-speed wireline broadband connectivity provided will extend to the population of the Lakshadweep Islands through FTTH and 5G/4G mobile networks. The bandwidth generated under this project will be available to all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to strengthen their services in the Lakshadweep Islands.