Alphabet has been running projects offering next-generation internet services for many years now, with its latest Project Taara blasting 700TB of data across the Congo River in a really new way.
Project Taara is a new technology that offers fiber optic cable-type speeds, without the cables -- with the Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) technology developed for Alphabet's Project Loon, in its new Project Taara. Where Project Loon used stratospheric helium balloons to blast wireless internet to everyone, Project Taara uses the wireless optical link technology to connect services across the Congo River.
Alphabet has its own moonshot lab called X where it well -- shoots for the moon -- with projects like this. FSOC is capable of pumping a 20Gbps+ link between two points if it has clear line of sight. The way it works is through using light to transmit high-speed data between two points. 20Gbps+ is on offer using just light to transmit information at incredibly fast speeds through the air, as a very narrow, invisible beam.
Alphabet has now teased it connected its Project Taara connection over the Congo River, from Brazzavilla in the Republic of Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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The team connected the Project Taara connection and transmitted close to 700TB of data, augmenting the fiber connections used by local telecon partner Econet and its subsidiaries. Alphabet has noted that using its wireless optical communications technology is a much better fit for a location like Africa, when compared to San Francisco as the Californian city can be very foggy and bogs down a line-of-sight internet connection.
Alphabet also notes that the reason its line-of-sight Project Taara connection is a better idea than traditional fiber-optic connections is that in places like Africa and India, there are many remote areas that have cities that are just a few miles from each other -- and running physical fiber-optic cable is very expensive.
Especially when running that fiber-optic cable isn't just the same 2-5km that the distance between the two points, as the physical cable is hundreds of miles long, as it goes around a river for example -- versus just having the connection blasted between two points over the river.
A single link can cover distances of up to 20km and it can also be used to extend fiber networks, offering high speeds of up to 20Gbps. The long-range line-of-sight data transmissions can do up to 20Gbps speeds, but there's also high-speed throughout supported if the distances are shorter, with 10-100s of Gbps bandwidth.
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