State govt, Alphabet’s X to bring new wireless internet: AP IT Minister
Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India] Dec 15 : Andhra Pradesh Information and Technology Minister Nara Lokesh on Friday said the state government is collaborating with the Alphabet Inc's X to bring high speed internet to about 12 million households by March 2019. Speaking at the collaboration ceremony in the United States, the state IT minister remarked, "The Government of Andhra Pradesh is committed to bring high speed internet and broadband connections to about 12 million households and 1,30,000 enterprises (government and private) by March 2019 with the collaboration of Alphabet Inc's X. 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 are joining forces." Lokesh added that Fibergrid is primarily aimed at harnessing the power of information resource and enabling provision of qualitative and cost-effective IT, communication (data, voice and video) and other related services to all the citizens. The Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited (APSFL) and Alphabet Inc's X have co-signed a landmark agreement to provide free space optical communication technology to improve Andhra Pradesh's digital infrastructure. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the state government views Fibergrid 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 Andhra Pradesh. Fibernet is a part of Bharat Net initiative and the first to implement state led model in the country. The adoption of aerial fiber model over utility poles has made it possible for a faster implementation of this project, stringing 24,000 km of fiber cable and setting up 2464 pops in a record time of nine months that changed the whole perceptive and direction of Bharat Net in the country. The network has 52 per cent of ring and 48 per cent of linear connectivity, and covers 85 per cent of households in Andhra Pradesh leaving 15 per cent 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' which as the innovation partner will deploy their FSOC (Free Space Optical Communication) technology. As a part of the partnership, 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 AP Fiber Net on this promising innovation that could overcome some of the longstanding challenges of getting high speed internet too hard to reach areas, and we are looking forward to helping them make the benefits of the web more accessible to more people in Andhra Pradesh." "Over the past few months, X has been working closely with Andhra Pradesh FiberNet to see to test that the FSOC links would be suitable for the AP Fibergrid initiative. The positive tests have resulted in the agreement to take the relationship forward," he said. If the implementation of this project in Andhra Pradesh is successful, FSOC can be taken forward to provide network connection to the remotest reaches of the world, said an official statement. The Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited- APSFL is a PSU 100 percent owned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
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