Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is using beams of light to deliver internet service in remote areas through its innovation lab called X. The project known as Taara was initiated in 2016 after high-altitude balloons failed due to high costs. Now, the technology is progressing better and it is being deployed on a larger scale by partnering with telecommunications providers such as Bharti Airtel in India and Econet Group in Africa. The machines are the size of traffic lights that beam lasers carrying data for fiber-optic internet without cables.
How Taara Works?
Taara’s machine uses laser beams to transmit data much like fiber-optic cable systems do but without physical cables. It can connect hard-to-reach places where laying out fibre-optic networks may not be feasible or cost-effective.
Taara – Progress So Far
Taara has already helped link up internet services across 13 countries including Australia, Kenya and Fiji while striking deals with companies such as Econet Group and Liquid Telecoms in Africa, Bluetown in India and Digicel in the Pacific Islands among others.
Benefits of Alphabet’s Taara Technology
The ultimate goal of Alphabet’s Taara is to provide affordable access to the Internet for people living in rural areas around the world who don’t have access yet due to infrastructure challenges or geographic barriers.
Bharti Airtel’s chief technology officer Randeep Sekhon said that besides providing faster internet service at an affordable rate for rural communities; this new technology will help deliver faster internet service even within urban areas which would be far less expensive than burying fiber-optical cables underground.
Impact on Developing Economies
Mahesh Krishnaswamy believes that hundreds of thousands if not millions of villages across developing economies could benefit from this new technology. He recently visited his childhood summer village Osur near Chennai where Taara equipment was installed and high-speed internet will be available for the first time this summer. He said, “I can’t wait to see how this technology can come handy in bringing all of those people online.”
This project is a significant example of how innovation in technology is helping connect remote areas with the rest of the world and providing affordable access to information.
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