From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Optical fibre cables and their working, AandN Islands
Mains level : Digital India outreach in AandN Islands
PM has launched the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Andaman & Nicobar Islands to the mainland.
Try this PYQ:
Q. Consider the following statements regarding optical fibres:
- A layer called the cladding, which has a refractive index more than that of the core, surrounds the core of the optical fibre.
- Light is propagated in an optical fibre by refraction and internal reflection.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?(CSP 2010)
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
What is a submarine communications cable?
- A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the seabed between land-based stations to transmit telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.
- The optical fibre elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed.
- Compared to satellites, using internet connection through submarine cables is more reliable, cost-efficient and of large capacity.
About the project
- About 2,300 km of submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1,224 crore to provide better connectivity in the UT.
- The project envisages better connectivity from Chennai to Port Blair and seven other Islands — Swaraj Deep (Havelock), Long Island, Rangat, Hutbay (Little Andaman), Kamorta, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay (Great Nicobar).
- The project is funded by the government through the Universal Service Obligation Fund under the ministry of communications.
- The foundation stone for the project was laid by PM Modi in December 2018 at Port Blair.
- The OFC will enable the delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India.
- The submarine optical fibre cable link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands.
- 4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite, will also see a major boost.
Benefits of the project
- Better connectivity in the region will facilitate the delivery of e-governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education.
- E-commerce: Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will utilise the enhanced availability of bandwidth for e-learning and knowledge sharing.
- Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises too also benefit from better connectivity.
- Low cost internet:The internet bills in Andaman and Nicobar will also come down substantially.