KLI Project: Provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity

  • IASbaba
  • December 12, 2020
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KLI Project: Provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III –Employment

In news

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for Provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity between Mainland (Kochi) and Lakshadweep Islands (KLI Project).

Key takeaways

  • The Project shall provide a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Kochi and 11 Islands of Lakshadweep viz.
  • Those 11 islands of Lakshadweep are: Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan & Kadmat.
  • The Project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund.
  • The project will vastly improve telecommunication facility in the Lakshadweep Islands by providing large bandwidth.
  • The project is targeted to be completed by May 2023.
  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has been nominated as Project Execution Agency and Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd. (TCIL) as the Technical Consultant of the Project to assist Universal Service Obligation Fund, Department of Telecommunications.
  • The ownership of the asset under the project will rest with USOF, the funding agency, under DoT.

Related article:

  • Optical Fibre Connectivity to Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Click here

Important value addition

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

  • Apart from the higher capital cost of providing telecom services in rural and remote areas, these areas also generate lower revenue due to lower population density, low income and lack of commercial activity. 
  • Thus normal market forces alone would not direct the telecom sector to adequately serve backward and rural areas. 
  • Keeping in mind the inadequacy of the market mechanism to serve rural and inaccessible areas on one hand and the importance of providing vital telecom connectivity on the other, most countries of the world have put in place policies to provide Universal Access and Universal Service to ICT.
  • India’s New Telecom Policy – 1999 (NTP’99) provided that the resources for meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) would be raised through a ‘Universal Access Levy (UAL)’, which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licenses. 
  • The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 01.04.2002. 
  • The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003 giving statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) was passed by both Houses of Parliament in December 2003. 
  • As per the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 (as amended in 2003, 2006 and 2008), the Fund is to be utilized exclusively for meeting the Universal Service Obligation.

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