Alphabet’s Taara Project: Bringing Internet Access to Remote Areas with Laser Technology

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has shifted its approach to bring internet access to rural and remote areas. Previously, they experimented with high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere, but faced challenges and limited success. Now, they have introduced a new project called Taara, led by Mahesh Krishnaswamy, which utilizes beams of light to deliver internet service to these underserved regions. Taara, a part of Alphabet’s innovation lab X, is making significant progress and is preparing for larger-scale deployment in India in collaboration with Bharti Airtel, a major telecommunications provider. The objective is to offer affordable and accessible internet connectivity, targeting 13 countries, including Australia, Kenya, and Fiji.

Taara’s technology involves the use of traffic light-sized machines that transmit data through lasers, essentially creating a wireless fiber-optic internet connection. Bharti Airtel and other partners are leveraging these machines to establish communication infrastructure in challenging terrains. This innovative approach emerged from lessons learned during the failed Loon project, which employed lasers to connect data between balloons in the sky.

Astro Teller, the head of X, describes Taara as a “moonshot composting” initiative. X, known for its ambitious and futuristic endeavors, has previously given rise to companies such as Waymo and Wing. According to Teller, Taara is already surpassing the data transmission achievements of Loon. Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel, believes that Taara’s technology will not only benefit remote areas but also deliver faster internet services in urban areas of developed countries. The cost-effectiveness of beaming data between buildings compared to laying fiber-optic cables adds to its disruptive potential.

Krishnaswamy, reflecting on his recent visit to his childhood village in India for the installation of Taara equipment, expresses excitement about the possibilities this technology holds for connecting hundreds of thousands of villages across the country. The efforts align with Google’s commitment to digitizing India through a $10 billion investment. It’s worth noting that Alphabet’s partnership with Bharti Airtel for Taara is separate from Google’s investment in the company.

While X and Taara strive to connect the world, Astro Teller acknowledges the imperfections of the internet and suggests that improving internet content may require a separate moonshot.

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here