Delivering high-speed internet usually requires running cables across long distances. But that can get tricky when you’re trying to bring connectivity to a place where there isn’t already a lot of infrastructure for it… so recently we’ve seen solutions ranging from satellites to balloons.

Now Google’s parent company Alphabet is partnering with internet service providers in Sub-Saharan Africa on something a little different – a system to beam high-speed data over long distances using “beams of light.”

Project Taara can hit speeds exceeding 20 Gbps and beam data over distances up to 20 kilometers. But it requires a line of sight, so it will require towers placed high enough that the signal won’t be interrupted.

Odds are that nobody’s going to receive 20 Gbps signals through an antenna on their own rooftop. Instead, the technology could help wireless carriers connect cell towers, WiFi hotspots, and other spots that might be hard to hook up using other methods.

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8 replies on “Lilbits: Internet at the speed of light”

  1. Line of SIGHT, just like it should be “no send in SIGHT” (a very common mistake in the internet.)

    Typos I get but when they become linguistic errors that abound on the interwebs… I despair a little bit (at least with native English speakers, esl people have an excuse)

    1. google = 20 Gbps

      Ubiquiti = 150 Mbps

      Difference = SPEED

      (Keep up the good work Brad! Good and timely info!)

  2. Beams of light? What happens if there’s cloudy weather, rain, or birds?

      1. Yeah, I remember a short story from Isaac Asimov that had as a central element the difficulty of transmitting energy by laser due to not only interference but any tiny movement sending the laser way off its path.

    1. Without looking at the article, I suppose it’s probably some radio/microwave frequency they’re calling “light” because “dude like internet at the speed of light like whoah dude like literally imagine being one of those loser americans right now dude”. So all this probably is is something like 5g but with masers and dish antennae and fancier digital signal processing than Ubiquiti’s equipment on taller cell towers.
      Even if it’s not actually microwaves they’re using, I’m sure it’s definitely going to be lower than visible light, because someone would look at the towers and find them really bright and annoying.
      (Aaand the article is just buzzwords.)

      1. Yeah, you definitely didn’t read the article. Seems like you just wanted to complain about something so you made up some non-existent excuse to do so.

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