Andhra Pradesh government signs agreements with Alphabet X for Fibergrid project

17 December, 2017, 03:28 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • Thomson Reuters

Alphabet Inc's X research division said on Thursday that India's Andhra Pradesh state government would buy its newly developed technology that has the potential to provide high-speed wireless internet to millions of people without laying cable.

The AP FiberNet project envisages providing connectivity to 12 million households and thousands of businesses in the State, adds the release. Lokesh said during his California visit, he met CEOs from 14 major companies and the government has taken a target to create 1 lakh jobs in IT space by March 2019.

These FSOC links will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of their network...

This is claimed to be first of its kind association in the world to provide wireless internet connection at a higher speed of upto 20Gbps and to a distance of upto 20 km. "FSOC boxes can simply be placed kilometers apart on roofs or towers, with the signal beamed directly between the boxes to easily traverse common obstacles like rivers, roads and railways", X said in a blog post. However, keeping stratospheric balloons going permanently is a tricky task, which is why Alphabet's R&D arm, X, has been working toward a ground-based solution that replicates the same technological ethos as the balloons.

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According to Alphabet, the owner of Google, improving the accessibility of internet in developing countries is extremely important for their rapidly-growing business.

Astro Teller said, "We are delighted to be partnering with AP FiberNet on this promising innovation that could overcome some of the longstanding challenges of getting high-speed internet too hard to reach areas, and look forward to helping them make the benefits of the web accessible to more people in Andhra Pradesh".

X, the "moonshot factory" of the tech giant, is using Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) to connect far-flung regions of the state. However, changing weather and misalignment between boxes could severely affect the connection. Lokesh, son of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, tweeted that X will be the state's innovation partner, deploy its resources and team to help achieve the goal of Digital Andhra. A small group of Google engineers and experts will work out of Andhra Pradesh to help roll out the project in 2018.



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