The State-owned telecom firm, BSNL, on August 14 launched a high capacity satellite-based connectivity facility for the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) project funded by the Department of Telecommunications.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in 2014, had assessed bandwidth needs of the islands of Lakshadweep to be about 7.6 Gigabit per second (Gbps).
On the basis of this assessment, BSNL added 216 Megabit per second (Mbps) capacity to take the total available bandwidth in the islands to 318 Mbps in 2018. Later, ISRO allocated transponders for additional 1,500 Mbps and loaned its hardware to BSNL.
This enabled partial utilization of the 1,500 Mbps, and took the bandwidth availability in the island to 1.07 Gbps in 2019.
“BSNL has now installed and commissioned new hardware which will allow the complete 1,500 Mbps capacity to be utilized,” said a statement, adding that with this, Lakshadweep’s bandwidth is set to increase by 70% taking the available bandwidth to 1.71 Gbps.
The increased bandwidth will translate into better telecom services, with lesser call drops and fewer call congestion. The improved data services will benefit islanders as well as the tourists visiting the islands, the statement added.
Further, it will allow the Lakshadweep administration to provide services electronically and the students will also have greater learning platforms online.
“BSNL has agreed to waive off the 15% facilitation fee for this project,” the statement said.
Dedicating this project to the nation, Minister of State for Communication, Devusinh Chauhan, appreciated BSNL’s effort to complete this project despite COVID-19 restrictions on the island, in an official statement.
Mr. Chauhan said that this is only the beginning of a new era in the archipelago. “Already BSNL, under USOF funding, has started working on laying the Submarine Cable between Kochi and Lakshadweep and also on another project of augmentation of Satellite Connectivity from 1.71 Gbps to 3.46 Gbps,” he said.
The project was inaugurated by making a video call by the minister to the Lakshadweep administration, and was attended by Praful Khoda Patel, Administrator Lakshadweep.
In a statement, Mr. Patel assured that his administration would continue to extend all support to BSNL,
The support and coordination with ministries and wireless planning and coordination wing by Mohammed Faizal P P , the Member of Parliament of Lakshadweep, also helped BSNL to complete this project within the time, the statement added. The Hindu