X collaborates with government of Andhra Pradesh to bring breakthrough free Space Optical Communication Technology to India
To boost Andhra Pradesh’s digital infrastructure to an enviable modernity with breakthrough technology, the Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited (APSFL) a fully owned company of Government of Andhra Pradesh and X Development LLC, known as X, Alphabet's moonshot factory that works on new cutting edge technologies, co-signed a landmark agreement earlier this year.
Improving connectivity is a top priority for the government of Andhra Pradesh and APSFL was created to set up and manage the ambitious and the first of its kind transformative information high-way of the state AP Fibergrid. Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu views AP Fiber Grid as the means of bringing high quality and affordable digital services (data, voice and video etc.) to every household, Government Offices and private agencies connecting approximately 53 million people in the State of Andhra Pradesh, FiberNet is a part of BharatNetinitiative and the first state to implement state led model in the country, with an innovative thought from the honorable Chief minister the adoption of aerial fiber model over utility poles made it to achieve faster implementation of this project stringing 24000kms of fiber cable & setting up 2464 pops in a record time of 9months that changed the whole perceptive and direction of BharatNet in the country. The network has 52% of ring and 48% of linear connectivity, and covers 85% of households in the state of Andhra Pradesh leaving 15% still isolated from being connected to the network.
However, increasing network reliability in Andhra Pradesh and connecting isolated and difficult terrain, forest areas, river crossings, railway crossings viz a viz the remotest reaches of the state with broadband connections has remained a challenge.
To overcome those hindrances, the APFSL has entered this agreement with X who as the innovation partner will deploy their FSOC (Free Space Optical Communication) technology.
Speaking at the collaboration ceremony in the United States today, Nara Lokesh, Minister for Information and Technology, Government of Andhra Pradesh, remarked, “The Government of Andhra Pradesh is committed to bring high speed internet and broadband connections to about 12 million households and 130000 enterprises (govt. and private) by March 2019. Our government has always championed advanced technology solutions for the greater good of the people of Andhra Pradesh and we are thrilled as APSFL and X arejoining forces.”
The Minister further added, “Fiber Grid is primarily aimed at harnessing the power of information resource and enabling provision of qualitative and cost-effective IT, Communication (data, voice & video) and other related services to all the citizens. With broadband becoming the basic platform for provision of a number of services like e-governance, e-health, e-commerce, e-banking, universal access to internet is a must to empower the citizens. Broadband will not only help citizens connect with their friends, family and communities but also use the online tools and information to help find jobs, start businesses, access healthcare, education and financial services. Such inclusion significantly reduces the digital divide and promotes economic prosperity and enhances happiness index of our people.”
X will initially supply AP state with two thousand FSOC links. X engineers and experts on site in AP will work together with APFSL personnel identifying and selecting suitable sites for deployment of the FSOC links. As a part of the partnership and to provide real time support for smooth operating of this project, X will also set up a local office with the help of the Government of Andhra Pradesh
Commenting on the collaboration, entrepreneur scientist Astro Teller, "Captain of Moonshots” at X said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with APFiberNet on this promising innovation that could overcome some of the longstanding challenges of getting high speed internet too hard to reach areas, and looking forward to helping them make the benefits of the web more accessible to more people in Andhra Pradesh.”
A high level delegation from the Government of Andhra Pradesh lead by Honorable Minister of IT &Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Mr. Nara Lokesh including A. Babu, MD of APSFL (Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited), RajuIndukuri, Chairman of GTEN, AP Economic Development Board and Hari Prasad Vemuru, Technology Advisor to Government of Andhra Pradesh were present at the event.
Over the past few months, X have been working closely with AP State FiberNet to see to test that the FSOC links would be suitable for the AP Fiber Grid initiative. The positive tests resulted in the agreement to take the relationship forward.
FSOC implementation in Andhra Pradesh will address the challenges of river crossings, railway crossings connecting those areas where Fiber cannot reach. FSOC will also help providing high bandwidth to telecom towers (presently on low data rate microwave links) enabling to upgrade from 2g to 3g/4g services. Andhra Pradesh has more than 15000 towers without fiber connectivity and rely on microwave links to maintain voice & 2g data service.
This association of AP FiberNet with X labs to implement FSOC in AP is first of its kind in the world to provide wireless internet connection at a higher speed of upto 20Gbps and to a distance of upto 20kms. If the implementation of this project in the state of Andhra Pradesh is successful, FSOC can be taken forward to provide network connection to the remotest reaches of the world.