Google's owner, Alphabet, seems to be having quite an interesting project going on aside from just working on improving its search engine. It has also been quite a while ever since people have already heard about the Alphabet's project, the Free Space Optical Communications or FSOC.
How far has Alphabet gone with regards to Project Taara?
According to an article by Engadget, for those who have forgotten about this project, it's quite natural since the acronym does not really stick quite as good as Google Fiber or even Project Loon. In order to solve the said problem, Alphabet's own 'X' division has decided to rename the initiative to Project Taara which supposedly suggests that Google's own parent company will now see the given technology.
Project Taara reportedly works by using laser-beaming boxes in order to be able to deliver connectivity which is something that, according to the article, could eventually become quite a real business. According to an official blog post, Mahesh Krishnaswamy, Taara's general manager, it was announced that the team is now formally working along with the telecoms giant known as Econet over in Africa.
Original plan modified
It was stated in the blog post that initially, Project Taara's hardware will work supporting the Econet subsidiary known as Liquid Telecom over in Kenya. It's still more obvious given that the entire moonshot has already been able to trail its technology around the country, which followed after pilots over in Andhra Pradesh located in India.
Taara actually started by being a solution for the previous Project Loon, the known moonshot sibling, which utilizes balloons in order to deliver internet around rural areas, was initially looking for ways to share data between its wind-riding vessels. The team was successful in using the FSOC in order to send a copy of the "Real Genius" between two different balloons over 62 miles apart.
What is the FSOC capable of providing? What are the weaknesses of this new method?
This resulted in the conversation about the given technology's use on the actual ground. The FSOC was said to be compelling due to its use of light, just like actual fiber optic cables, but still does not require any trenches or any poles. In actual theory, that results in it becoming cheaper, faster, and also simpler to deploy, especially within areas that are surrounded by national parks, rivers, or even towns that are ravaged by existing conflict.
Taara is said to still have a few limitations. The whole terminal is able to work its best at the distance of up to 12 and a half miles and needs its sight to be unobstructed in order to work. This is why the team typically sets these up on poles, towers, or even rooftops. The bandwidth is about 20Gbps and the team promises that it is well enough to allow thousands of people to be able to watch YouTube at the very same time.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo