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Google To Use Light Beams To Bring High-Speed Internet To India

December 18th 2017

Laser burst

Google’s moonshot factory, X Development LLC, is working with AP State FiberNet, a telecom company in Andhra Pradesh, India, to roll out two thousand Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) links as part of a collaborative effort to bring broadband to 12 million households.

Born out of the Loon project where Google aims to use high altitude balloons as base stations in the sky to enable internet access everywhere, especially in hard to reach or underdeveloped regions around the globe, FSOC links are based on light beams that deliver high speed connectivity over long distances without using fiber-optic cables.

Project Loon needed a way of transmitting data between balloon base stations to work. Engineers used FSOC links to achieve this over distances of over 100 km. The results of this work in the stratosphere brought the technology to ground to solve connectivity problems where fiber is too expensive or impractical.

The FSOC links created by X will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of AP State FiberNet’s network and will be used to plug gaps to major access points, such as cell-towers and Wi-Fi hotspots.

FSOCs provide a cost-effective way to connect rural and remote areas across – avoiding the need to lay fiber-optic cable over long distances in difficult terrain, where the the expense cannot be justified by the number of subscribers.


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