Google X ready to set up development centre in Visakhapatnam

Randall Craig
December 18, 2017

Stating that Fibernet is a part of the Bharat Net initiative and AP is the first State to implement it in the country, Lokesh said that with an innovative thought of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the adoption of aerial fiber model over utility poles made it to achieve faster implementation of the project stringing 24000 kms of fiber cable and setting up 2,464 pops in a record time of 9 months. However, keeping stratospheric balloons going permanently is a tricky task, which is why Alphabet's R&D arm, X, has been working toward a ground-based solution that replicates the same technological ethos as the balloons. The new technology is called Free Space Optical communications or FSOC. After the company's scientists used FSOC to send data-a copy of the 1985 film, Real Genius, to be specific-across some 100 km between two balloons, they reckoned that a similar system could work on land, too.

The project will help provide high-speed internet and broadband connections to around 12 million households and 130,000 enterprises by March 2019.

The agreement was signed by Nara Lokesh, minister of IT, Government of Andhra Pradesh during his visit to Mountain View headquarters of Alphabet. "With X coming to Andhra Pradesh, the state will see revolution in communication", said Lokesh.

"These FSOC links will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of their network, giving them a cost effective way to connect rural and remote areas across the state", Baris Erkmen, the FSOC Lead at X, wrote in a blog post on Thursday, Dec. 14.

X, a subsidiary of Alphabet, has signed a deal with an Indian state to offer internet connectivity that it describes as " fiber optic cable, but without the cable".

Currently, only 20 percent of residents in Andhra Pradesh have access to Internet. The corporation has been established primarily to undertake the works of AP Fiber Grid with a vision to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure, accessible on a non- discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable and end-to-end broadband connectivity of 10 to 20 Mbps for all households and 1 to 10 Gbps for all institutions and Multi- Dwelling Units to enable realization of the vision of Digital AP, in partnership with the Government of India and the private sector. The links will fix gaps in the access points now available like cell-towers and Wi-Fi hotspots that are used by thousands of people.

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