Alphabet's X sells new wireless internet tech to Indian state

Image Alphabet

Image Alphabet

Google X, a high-tech arm of IT behemoth Google, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AP Government to set up a centre to develop and test its cutting-edge technologies in Visakhapatnam.

Alphabet X, the company's moonshoot division, announced Thursday it will sell Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) technology to India's Andhra Pradesh state government to connect rural and remote areas across the state. Instead, the Google parent company says small FSOC boxes will be installed on elevated structures like poles or roofs and rely on direct line-of-sight in order to transmit data up to 12 miles in a single hop.

APFSL, a part of BharatNet initiative has 52% of ring and 48% of linear connectivity and covers 85% of households in the state.

Google is talking up a new technology that it is testing out to help Project Loon bring connectivity to unconnected regions.

With Google X coming to AP, the state will see a revolution in communication, Nara Lokesh said.

This is claimed to be the first such association in the world to provide wireless internet connection at a higher speed of up to 20Gbps and to a distance of up to 20km.

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Currently, only 20 percent of residents in Andhra Pradesh have access to Internet.

According to an APEDB statement here, the IT Minister met scientist Astro Teller, took a demo ride on Waymo (X's driverless car), and toured the FSOC technology clean room.

About Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited (APSFL): APSFL is a PSU 100% owned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The AP Government has plans to provide high speed Internet and broadband services to almost 120 lakh households and 130,000 private and public sector establishments by March 2019. The lack of cabling means that data can easily overcome obstacles like rivers, roads, and railways.

About BharatNet: BharatNet is a project of national importance in India to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.

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