Google is using laser technology to bring new, cheaper internet to remote areas

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solo29 June 2023Last Update : 3 months ago
Google is using laser technology to bring new, cheaper internet to remote areas

The technology – which uses a stop sign-shaped terminal that beams a data-carrying laser at the relevant terminal – will provide high-speed internet access.

This isn’t the first time that Google parent company Alphabet has embarked on a mission to bring reliable, affordable internet to communities in rural and remote areas.

But this time, the team at X-Lab, the tech giant’s innovation hub, has learned from past failures.

In 2016, the lab sought to broaden Internet access using stratospheric balloons, but that project was eventually shelved due to high costs.

Now they’ve turned to a new technology they call Project Tara: using neatly designed terminals that transmit data-carrying lasers to corresponding terminals over a fixed distance — essentially without cables Fiber-optic Internet.

According to Mahesh Krishnaswamy, the head of Tara, things are progressing better this time.

And now telecom partners in India like Bharti Airtel are using the machines to build internet infrastructure in hard-to-reach places.

Tara executives and Bharti Airtel say they are now moving toward large-scale deployment of the new Ledger Internet technology in India.

In addition, Krishnaswamy says Tara has so far helped connect internet services in 13 countries, including Australia, Kenya and Fiji.

High-Speed ​​Internet by Laser

At Project TARA’s laboratory in Mountain View, California, Krishnaswamy and his team of engineers experimented with mirrors of different focal lengths as well as special tables designed to recreate such conditions, The terminals will be subject to conditions such as movement from the ground, wind, animals etc. or traffic.

Krishnaswamy said he came across this new initiative while working on the failed balloon internet project called Loon, which used lasers to link data between balloons.

Krishnaswamy was recently in Osur, an Indian village three hours south of Chennai where he spent his childhood summers, to set up Tara Instruments. Osur will get high-speed internet for the first time this summer, he said.

“There are hundreds and thousands of such villages across India,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how this technology can serve to bring all those people online”.

According to Astro Taylor, CEO of Alphabet’s X-Lab, ‘Tara is transferring more data every day than Loon has in its entire history.’

In July 2020, Google committed $10 billion (€9.1 billion) to digitize India. It invested $700 million (€639 million) in Bharti Airtel last year for a 1.28 per cent stake. X-Lab and Google are subsidiaries under Alphabet, while Tara’s partnership with Bharti Airtel is separate from the Google investment.

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