The triumph of the internet is all around today. Nowadays, people can do almost everything from sitting at home, such as shopping to getting married! In a word, if there is the internet, everything is in one's hands. In this era of speedy internet and communication technology, there are still some places in the world where the internet is far away, and even the mobile signals do not reach properly. However, it is not like those places are deprived, or no one gives attention to them. The places that don't have internet are mainly due to geographical location or natural reasons. Some villages in Congo, Africa, are such remote locations. But this time, Google's new project named 'Project Taara' is working on providing high-speed internet to those remote villages.
What is Project Taara?
According to Project X, Google's own company, the technology will actually transmit the internet at very high and invisible super high-speed laser-based system light. The subject is a lot like optical fiber, but in this case, no cable or wire will be used.
This innovative approach to Internet connection was implemented under Alphabet X's 'Project Taara.' Alphabet X is a research and innovation company under Alphabet Inc., the parent company of search giant Google. The company works with a variety of innovative technologies, in many cases with strict confidentiality.
It has already successfully set up a laser-based system to supply the internet across the Congo River at 20 GBPS speed, which can cover distances of up to 20 kilometers.
When did Project Taara start?
Project Taara has been working for three years since 2017. Alphabet X is partnering with Econet Group and Liquid Telecom to launch high-speed Internet services in sub-Saharan Africa and has even begun commercial marketing in Kenya.
How does Taara service work?
This technology usually sends a signal to the receiver via radio wave from a server with a transmitter mounted on a tall building or a tower. The company claims that currently, people are able to access the internet at speeds of up to 1 Gbps only. But the new technology will allow users to access the Internet at speeds of up to 20 GBPS.
While the current broadband fiber-optics service transmits information on pulses of light, the Taara will transmit the data in a special form of twisted light. The regular fiber-optics' encoding and processing system affect the data speed. But the twisted light forms the missing key and helps in unlocking the super-fast communication.
The advanced Taara communication system not only carries more data; but also processes it faster through the light beams. Nevertheless, the internet speed can be as much as 100 times faster than the current system broadband system.
Has this been tested?
Google's technology has already been tested in remote areas of India and Africa. This new technology will greatly reduce the difficulties of providing internet service in the towers, and tall buildings.
Besides these, by virtue of the new technology internet access can be assured in jungles, rivers, railway tracks, and several other remote areas. In simple words, the advanced technology is expected to be very effective in places where it is virtually impossible to deliver optical fiber.
The technology has already been successfully tested in Andhra Pradesh, India, and villages across the Congo River, Africa. And it has yielded promising results in each case.
Previously Google took another step named “Project Loon” to provide internet service through the balloon, which did not make the cut. Google's Taara, on the other hand, seems very promising as it transmitted 700 TB data over a 20-day period test in Congo. Furthermore, the light beam technology had 99.9 percent during the testing period.
On the user's side, there was no hint when the data passed through FCOS nodes or the wires. Further, Google wanted to make the experience indistinguishable, and seemingly they are successful. According to Google, the system is placed high up, and it can adjust itself up to five degrees to uphold a perfect connection. The test also shows that the laser system was up even in the face of unexpected obstacles, such as extreme weather, flocks of flying birds, etc.
The latest test removed the pretty stubborn connection gap between the Republic of Congo city of Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Kinshasa. Although the names are almost the same, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are two different countries. The two countries gained independence from the European colonial occupation in 1960 at about the same time.
The distance between Brazzaville and Kinshasa was five kilometers only. But, it was complicated and expensive to connect the two cities with fiber cable in a conventional way due to the river flowing between them.
The cost of broadband connectivity has increased fivefold as the Internet has simply turned the tide. The problem is partially solved by Alphabet X's Lighting Internet connection or The Wireless Optical Communication (WOC) system. Therefore, the 17 million people living in those cities will be able to access the high-speed internet soon.
The WOC system comes from 'free space optical communication' technology. The technology originated from Project Loon, a project to send data using lasers between multiple balloons floating in the atmosphere.
However, Alphabet closed Project Loon in February 2021 due to a lack of commercial potential. Now they started Project Taara with the same concept. But this technology is not perfect yet. The system was up 99% during the taste. But, unwanted objects like fog, hostile weather, clouds, or birds flying through the light waves, can disrupt the WOC system.
However, the BBC reports that it is possible to deal with that complication by increasing the power of the laser transmission. The WOC system works much like a telescope; Mirrors, lighting, software, and hardware - these four combine to control the destination of light. The report says that the researchers have also found a way to avoid the disruption of the connection due to the birds flying through the middle. Alphabet X is also testing the technology in Kenya, India, Mexico, and the United States.