The global pandemic has made the nation realize the importance of self-reliance. On every possible platform, the PM has spoken and urged the people to help the nation become self-reliant.

The sad but harsh reality is that India still faces connectivity challenges. Till date, some parts of the nation do not have access to a reliable and fast internet connection.

Union territories like Andaman and Nicobar island, Lakshadweep, and neighboring islands still suffer from abysmal internet and poor digital services.

But today, the nation has a reason to celebrate because a long struggle has come to an end.

The Prime Minister announced the construction of 2,312 kilometers long submarine fiber optic cable for fueling the internet connectivity in the islands. A milestone in the history of India, an announcement which made the headlines of every possible newspaper and post on the internet because it comes with an end to millions of lost opportunities.

This technological advancement will give connectivity, which will be 4,000 per cent more efficient than what people in the islands are getting today.

Internet is still a luxury in villages and islands and hence they have been missing on a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. Online education, shopping, banking, is so normal for us but is still inaccessible to them.

Imagine how great the internet has become today! A country’s dream of development and self-reliance, cannot be accomplished without it and a country’s future can be transformed with its access to all.

The Government of India realizes the importance of the same and hence on the 74th Independence Day, the PM said that in the next 1,000 days, every village in India will get optical fiber internet. The aim is to connect every local village with high-speed internet.

Even after 74 years of independence, India still greatly depends on other nations when it comes to trade. The need of the hour is self-reliance and it can be achieved through greater connectivity throughout the nation which will make trade and commerce easy. Connectivity hence has become a defining feature of the modern economy and has the potential to reshape it.

How will optic fiber internet reshape the future of islands, villages and hence the economy?

Optical Fiber Cables will bridge the divide between the mainland and islands

The islands are connected to Indian mainland via satellite cables which are expensive, with limited bandwidth capacity and high amounts of latency and hence fails to provide robust connectivity. The OFC (Optical Fiber Cable) would be able to provide a bandwidth of 400Gbps (over 100 times the existing capacity) at its initial stage of commissioning as opposed to the present satellite link capacity which is merely 3.2Gbps.

Boost to the local economy

The SMEs in the islands will now have an opportunity to reach out to the world. They have enormous potential and capabilities to offer products like seafood, coconut products, and other organic products to the nation and world.

“If your business is not on internet, you’ll be out of business” – Bill Gates

Hence when people will access to fast and reliable internet at these places, only then we can achieve the dream of becoming a self-reliant nation because connectivity is key.

Tourism

“Better connectivity is the first priority of any tourist destination”, said the PM. Now, with access to the internet, these places will finally see growth in the tourism sector.

Times when people pre-book their hotels and cab rides while going to a vacation, with just access to the internet, imagine how many tourists these places will have now.

People will now have opportunities to open their hotels and hostels (a very popular concept at tourist places where people share their dorms with other travelers). Hostels are very popular among youth travelers as they love to socialize and prefer budget-friendly options.

Online cab services will also contribute to better tourism and development of the city.
Hence a great hike in tourism is expected in near future contributing to the development of the economy and lifestyles of the locals.

Ease of Living

The internet has revolutionized everyday aspects of existence. Digital technology is an integral part of almost everything we do today. It has made things so accessible and lives so easy. Now the people living in remote areas like islands and villages will also finally reap the benefits of fast internet.

Imagine how many would have lost jobs during the pandemic just because they belong to an area which doesn’t have a basic necessity, the internet.

The population will finally have access to quality employment opportunities, education growth, quality healthcare, transportation hence they will finally have a quality of life.

Access to quality online education, banking, shopping, telemedicine

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”- Nelson Mandela
While the schools and colleges are shut, imagine how do the kids manage to study at these places without access to reliable internet connection?

Finally, the children will have access to quality education through online education courses and schools.

People will be able to make digital payments, transfers, deposits without delays and safety issues, shopping will no more be limited to just the nearby shops as people will now be able to order from anywhere, anytime.

Modern technologies which enable patients to consult doctors by using HIPAA compliant video-conferencing tools will help to ensure better healthcare facilities at the islands and villages.

Better functioning of e-governance

Till now it was a great challenge for the government to bridge the gap between the public and itself. Fiber internet will make it possible for the government to deliver effective administration, transparency and public service. The citizens will now be able to directly communicate with the government and raise their concerns.

Connectivity is productivity- whether it’s in a modern office or an underdeveloped village – Iqbal Quadir

For India to become self-reliant, it’s important we become vocal for local and internet gives us the voice. Let’s use our voice wisely and help the local vendors grow by becoming vocal about them.

A much-needed initiative for New, Digital and Self-Reliant India.