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India investing $3.1 Billion in defense network, to build cyber defense system

A $3.1 Billion investment to give defense forces their own OFC powered communications infrastructure that will let Department of Telecom lease freed spectrum bringing in nearly $17.9 Billion.
Written by Manan Kakkar, Contributor

As the next generation wars are increasing depending on robust and secure information systems networks, it is imperative for a country to invest in building a reliable infrastructure. Back in 2009, the Government of India sanctioned $1.8 Billion to develop a pan-India communications network just for the defense forces. This 60,000km Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) network when completed is expected to connect 162 air force, 129 army and 33 navy bases. Last week, India's Defense Minister, AK Antony, announced an additional $1.3 Billion will be invested in the project making the grand total to a $3.1 Billion.

The decision to give the defense forces their own communications infrastructure will in fact help the common man in more ways than making him feel secure. The government hopes that by moving the defense forces to their own network, they will be able to free considerable spectrum which can be leased to telecom operators. One of the justifications for the huge investment amount is the potential spectrum cost the government stands to get  by leasing it to private service providers. The Department of Telecom predicted that the spectrum freed by defense forces can fetch as much as $17.9 Billion.

In another report, director for the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India, KD Nayak told reporters that his organization was working on an indigenously built cyber defense program. According to him, the defense program will protect communications infrastructure used by armed forces, power and railways. India is facing several cyber threats, reports claimed that government servers have been used in hacks against China and Delhi's airport being being under a cyber attack. These reports are in addition to news of 112 compromised government websites during December 2011 to February 2012. An indigenous solution built by DRDO would be a feather in India's hat.

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