X to deploy FSOC technology in Andhra for high-speed internet

Thomson Reuters

"Today AP State FiberNet announced that they'll be rolling out two thousand FSOC links created by our team at X". The network has 52% of ring and 48% of linear connectivity, and covers 85% of households in the state of Andhra Pradesh leaving 15% still isolated from being connected to the network.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Hon'ble Minister of IT, Government of Andhra Pradesh Shri Nara Lokesh and CEO of Google X Astro Teller in San Francisco, USA during the former's US tour.

The approach is known as free space optical technology, which has proven hard to implement in the past, but Alphabet seems confident it has solved the problems.

Mr. Lokesh said, "This significant partnership will offer a major boost to the State's digital infrastructure and help in overcoming hindrances in digital connectivity".

The X centre in Visakhapatnam will be its first development centre outside the US. "The Fibergrid is primarily aimed at harnessing the power of information resource and enabling provision of qualitative and cost-effective IT, Communication (data, voice and amp, video) and other related services to all the citizens".

As part of the partnership, and to provide real-time support for the smooth operation of this project, X will also set up a local office with the help of the AP Government.

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To support the initial roll-out, X will have some engineers based in Andhra Pradesh as the deployment gets off the ground, the post said.

Over the past few months, X has been working closely with AP State FiberNet to test that the FSOC links would be suitable for the AP Fiber Grid initiative.

FSOC links use beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances - just like fiber optic cable, but without the cable.

The agreement is basically a derivative of one of its undertakings, Project Loon which beams internet to Earth by floating balloons with the help of stratospheric winds, at altitudes twice as high as airplanes.

Andhra Pradesh will lose Hyderabad in 2024 due to the creation of a new Indian state, lowering its overall connectivity.

Google is bringing a wireless internet technology it tested in the stratosphere to connect rural areas in India's Andhra Pradesh state. By 2019, the state is planning to add another 12 million households.

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