An industry executive explains the key elements of the CANI undersea cable system, the process of laying it down, and the ordeals that have been overcome from start to finish. Between the coast of Chennai and the beaches of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands archipelago, there's a 2,300 kilometre network of submarine optic fibre cables. The Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Islands system, or CANI for short, is the only submarine cable that serves Indian territory alone — a similar system for the Lakshadweep Islands is being planned. Systems like CANI — at a larger, intercontinental level — are what makes the global nature of the internet possible, offering several terabits per second of broadband capacity between countries. Starting from November 2019 to August 2020, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, the state-owned telecom operator, laid the bulk of the cable system on the floor of the Bay of Bengal, straddling the vast distance between the Tamil Nadu capital and the islands (port cities in Thailand and Myanmar are far closer to Andaman & Nicobar Islands than Chennai). The fibre cables were made by NEC, a Japanese telecommunications conglomerate. Ashutosh Zutshi, Vice President of Submarine Network Solutions at NEC's India subsidiary, gave a talk at a webinar on August 11, where he spoke about the details of CANI's construction that shed some light on how such systems get built, what challenges they face, and how they work. The webinar was organised by the National Telecommunication Institute for Policy Research, Innovation & Training. The…
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