Alphabet, the company that owns Google, has been able to connect two cities in Africa, separated by 5 kilometers, to the Internet via laser technology.
According to the Spanish newspaper, “La Vanguardia”, the company was able, through the “Tara” project, to transfer the Internet from the city of Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, to the neighboring city of Kinshasa.
Although the distance between the two cities does not exceed 4.8 km, the fiber-optic network that provides the Internet must be extended for more than 400 km to avoid crossing the Congo River, which separates the two cities, which makes the Internet cost five times higher in Kinshasa.
Over the course of 20 days, the laser technology transferred nearly 700 terabytes of data at speeds of up to 20 gigabytes per second, with an efficiency of 99.9%.
The advantages of the project lie in avoiding many natural factors, as it must deal with weather disturbances, bird movement, rain and fog, among other disturbances.
In mid-2013, Alphabet, the owner of Google, launched the Loon project, which aimed to deliver the Internet to remote areas via high-altitude balloons, but after years of successful tests, the project was suspended, in January 2021; due to high costs.
The laser used in the new “Tara” project, is practically invisible to the naked eye, and can accurately hit a target only 5 centimeters wide from 10 kilometers away.
The receiving station is designed to capture the light from the transmitter and absorb the natural vibrations of the laser beam.
According to the Cable.co.uk Internet Speed Index, Africa is the continent with the lowest average internet speed.
Whether for geographic reasons or due to the high cost of transport technologies such as optical fibers, some regions of the world – usually the most deprived – still do not have access to the Internet, and even if there is, the connection is very weak.
It is noteworthy that, last July, scientists from the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) broke a record for the speed of data transmission over the Internet. This speed allows downloading more than 7,000 high-definition films per second, according to the endgadget website.
The Japanese reached an internet speed of 319 terabytes per second, which is almost double the previous record speed set by British and Japanese scientists, in August 2020, which was 179 terabytes per second.