"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.
The agreement was signed by Nara Lokesh, minister of IT, Government of Andhra Pradesh during his visit to Mountain View headquarters of Alphabet. Using what is called Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC), Alphabet proved it's possible to reliably send data wirelessly between balloons floating hundreds of metres in the sky.
But, with facing problems in connecting isolated and hard terrain, forest areas, river crossings, railway crossings vis-a-vis the remotest reaches of the state with broadband, the APFSL has entered into the agreement with X who as the innovation partner will deploy their FSOC (Free Space Optical Communication) technology.
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.
Baris Erkmen, who is leading the effort inside X, said his team is "piloting a new approach" to overcome the challenges, but he did not specify the software and hardware advancements. Initially, FSOC technology was being used to allow the balloons to communicate with each other.
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"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".
One of Alphabet's crazier attempts to bring the internet to more rural and isolated areas was Project Loon. If the implementation of this project in the state of Andhra Pradesh is successful, FSOC can be taken forward to provide network connection to the remotest reaches of the world. The state wants to help 12 million households and thousands of government organizations and businesses get broadband by 2019.
About Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited (APSFL): APSFL is a PSU 100% owned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
According to a report by India's telecom regulator, around 15 million people from Andhra Pradesh have subscribed for high-speed internet.