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Google X signs MOU with AP Govt to bring FSOC technology

18 December 2017

With an innovative thought from the honorable Chief Minister, the adoption of aerial fiber model over utility poles to achieve faster implementation of this project stringing 24,000kms of fiber cable & setting up 2,464 pops in a record time of 9 months that changed the whole perception and direction of BharatNet in the country. Initially, FSOC technology was being used to allow the balloons to communicate with each other.

Alphabet's X is working with AP State FiberNet, a telecommunications body owned by India's Andhra Pradesh state government, to introduce thousands of FSOC boxes across the state.

Reports quoting sources in the Andhra government said the MoU was signed in San Francisco in the presence of Nara Lokesh, Andhra Pradesh minister of IT, and X CEO Astro Teller.

For Indians to use Google's services, however, they need access to the internet.

"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.

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Also, its engineers and experts will work together with APFSL staff in identifying and selecting suitable sites for deployment of the FSOC links.

"With Google X coming to AP, the state will see revolution in communication", said Nara Lokesh.

"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". Andhra Pradesh has more than 15,000 towers without fiber connectivity and relies on microwave links to maintain voice and 2G data service.

X Development LLC, is Alphabet's moonshot factory that works on new cutting-edge technologies like Waymo - self driving cars etc.

Currently, only 20 percent of residents in Andhra Pradesh have access to Internet. FiberNet's goal is to help bring broadband connectivity to 12 million households by 2019, and these boxes could give FiberNet a cost-effective alternative to traditional mobile towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, while also expanding existing broadband coverage to areas where traditional tech can't reach.

Google X signs MOU with AP Govt to bring FSOC technology