High-speed internet through light beams in the air
At first glance at this title, you will surely be amazed at how the internet would travel fast speed in the air using the light beams.
The Congo River has been successfully crossed using a unique method of providing high-speed internet via laser beams in the air. It implies that residents in Brazzaville and Kinshasa will be able to access quicker and less expensive broadband. One of Alphabet X's (previously Google X) so-called moonshot concepts is Project Taara. It came out of Experiment Loon, a failed broadband project that used balloons in the stratosphere.
The newest trial has closed a "challenging connection gap" between the two African capitals of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Getting internet across the Congo is difficult. (Image Credit: BBC)
Although the cities are just three miles away, connecting them is difficult because standard cable must be run around the river, making the internet five times more expensive.
The team at X stated that the wireless optical communications (WOC) system delivered approximately 700 terabytes of data in 20 days with 99.9% availability. It's the most recent version of a project that's been in the works for three years. X has launched a commercial deployment in Kenya with Econet Group and Liquid Telecom to deliver high-speed internet to Sub-Saharan Africa. The technology employs very tiny, invisible light beams to provide fast speeds, similar to how conventional fibre in the ground uses light to transport data but without the cable casing. Free Space Optical Communications arose from the team's prior research beaming lasers between balloons in Project Loon, which was shut down by Alphabet in February because it was no longer considered financially feasible.
In situations when the laser beam may be disrupted, the technology may not operate properly. (Image Credit: BBC)
However, it has been enhanced by changing the amount of laser power sent, which operates similarly to a telescope, relying on mirrors, lights, software, and hardware to move the beam to the exact location it needs to be. The team has also discovered techniques to minimize mistakes caused by disruptions like birds flying across the connection.
Kenya, India, the United States, and Mexico have all tried out the technology. I hope more countries will be able to test them out too.