Alphabet Project makes progress on broadband connectivity to outliers


A new project by Alphabet X in Africa is bringing broadband to marginal communities with new streaming methodology.


BBC News reports today on something called Project Taara, where implementers are shooting beams of data some three miles across a river into areas of Kinshasa and surrounding towns.


The project, called Free Space Optical Communication, involves Google’s Alphabet and partners Econet Group and Liquid Telecom.


In terms of planning, Project Taara is the descendent of an original Google project called Project Loon that we reported on years ago, where the company wanted to deliver broadband via airborne balloons.


That project, the BBC News piece reveals, was recently shelved due to not being considered viable.


Although insiders admit that Project Taara is “not perfect,” and weather conditions may hamper the delivery of broadband signals not shielded by conventional fiber-optic cabling, this promising technology may end up providing a better blanket to rural areas that have been locked out of modern wireless connectivity for so long.


Another major Alphabet initiative is, to environmentalists, even more attractive. Rather than working on getting more people on the Internet, this ambitious project, called Tidal, aims to clean up the ocean.


Abner Lee at 9to5Google suggests that by helping to monitor fish and their feeding, stakeholders can reduce pollution.


“Over the past three years, X has been talking to fish farmers around the world that want to minimize waste and reduce chemical usage,” Li writes. “Tidal has developed an underwater camera system that leverages machine perception to “detect and interpret fish behaviors not visible to the human eye.”


Tidal’s initiative is a good start. However, realistically, with more plastic than fish in the ocean as of right now, we’re going to have to do more than just look into the ocean to actually help heal it.


Stay apprised of what Alphabet is doing in these other areas.