Google is using light rays to deliver the Internet in Africa

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X, Google’s sister company to Alphabet, announced today, Tuesday, that its project Taara high-speed optical wireless broadband project is working with Internet provider Econet and its subsidiaries to start rolling out its technology across sub-Saharan Africa.

The technology deployment follows a series of trials in Kenya specifically, but Project Taara and Econet are ready to begin adding wireless high-speed optical links to complement and enhance Econet’s service reach, starting with Liquid Telecom customers in Kenya.

Project Tara is another approach to expanding broadband networks’ reach to parts of the Earth that did not have access or high-speed connections, primarily due to infrastructure challenges.

It is noteworthy that Project Taara from (X) is basically a fiber-optic cable, but without actually cable, as it uses a narrow and invisible beam of light to transmit data between two ends, the distance between them can extend up to approximately 12.5 miles, and with transmission speeds up to Up to 20 Gbps, which means it can be used to connect thousands of customers or families to the Internet, while providing very high speeds for streaming high-quality videos.

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Taara’s technology can be used mainly to patch up traditional fiber-optic networks caused by obstacles, such as: crossing rivers, or terrain that is difficult or impossible to connect to the Internet using either an underground or overground cable. The technology requires an unbroken line of sight, so X is positioning it above tall structures to help ensure this is achieved, and this also means that it is best suited for filling gaps in traditional networks, not necessarily building entirely new networks.

It differs from efforts such as: Alphabet’s Loon balloons that fly in the stratosphere, or Starlink’s satellite-based network from Starlink.

It is noteworthy that (X) has experimented with Taara in a number of publishing operations around the world, but today’s announcement is a sign of its maturity. To enter into the marketing stage whereby the service could be used as a supplement to existing networks in very many places very soon.

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