According to Indian ZeeNews, the Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable is aimed at being completed by June this year, to offer sufficient capacity through submarine cable connecting the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar(A&N) islands off India’s east coast.
The Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable project connects Chennai to Port Blair (the A&N island’s capital), and onwards to seven other islands including Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Havelock, Long Island and Rangat. The total distance of the Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable is approximately 2250km, comprising 1450 kms for Chennai-Port Blair and 800kms for the other seven segments.
Currently, the A&N are connected to the Indian mainland via a satellite link with limited bandwidth capacity and high amounts of latency (delay). As opposed to the present satellite link capacity which is merely 3.2Gbps, the Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable System would be able to provide a bandwidth of 400Gbps(over 100 times the existing capacity) at its initial stage of commissioning.
The Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable project is supplied by NEC, with a total cost of Rs.1224Cr (approximately US$170 million), under the supervision of the state-owned telecom operator BSNL which has been appointed the Project Execution Agency by Indian goverment.
Upon completion, the capacity on the Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable System will be made available to all telecom service providers to extend their services to the islands. It is said, the Chennai-A&N Islands Submarine Cable System will also meet the strategic communication requirements of the country’s defense forces.
On August 10, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Chennai-A&N Island submarine cable between Chennai and Port Blair via video conferencing. The Chennai-A&N Island submarine cable system will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gbps between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands chain.