Andhra Pradesh Information and Technology Minister Nara Lokesh on Friday during a visit to X’s Headquarters in Mountain View has said that the state government in collaboration with the Google’s Alphabet Inc’s X to deploy Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) links in Andhra Pradesh.
With this new partnership, the Govt and the company are aiming to bring high-speed internet to about 12 million households and thousands of businesses by March 2019. Alphabet X is exploring new opportunities and a new approach for internet connectivity in AP which relies on light beams. FSOC technology was initially used by the Project Loon team to beam data between balloons.
The FSOC links are capable of delivering high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances using beams of light. Unlike traditional fiber, the FSOC saves time and eliminates the need to dig trenches or string cable along poles. The FSOC links are very much capable of offering connections of up to 20 Gbps over long distances which is more than enough support to connect a cell-tower or other access points capable of supporting thousands of users at a time, and this is most beneficial in areas where the connectivity is very limited.
AP State FiberNet has confirmed that it will be rolling out two thousand FSOC links created by X-team and these FSOC links will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of their network which not just saved a lot of time but also connects lots of rural villages which currently lack internet connectivity support.
In a statement, the company has said:
For the last few months, a small group of us — some of us from the Loon team and some of us who’ve worked on various connectivity-related technologies over the years — have been piloting a new approach with FSOC links. We’ve been working with AP State FiberNet, a telecom company in Andhra Pradesh, a state in India which is home to more than 53 million people. Less than 20% of residents currently have access to broadband connectivity, so the state government has committed to connecting 12 million households and thousands of government organizations and businesses by 2019 — an initiative called AP Fiber Grid.