Instead of cables, the X internet network in Andhra will use "Free Space Optical Communications, aka FSOC, technology". This network will power internet in 13 districts through 2 thousand FSOC links. The X centre in Visakhapatnam will be its first development centre outside the US.
"FSOC links use beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances, just like fiber optic cable, but without the cable. And because there's no cable, this means there's none of the time, cost, and hassle involved in digging trenches or stringing cable along poles," said Baris Erkmen, an X spokesperson. "FSOC boxes can simply be placed kilometres apart on roofs or towers, with the signal beamed directly between the boxes to easily traverse common obstacles like rivers, roads and railways."
Sources in the Andhra government said that the MoU was signed in San Francisco in the presence of Nara Lokesh, Andhra Pradesh minister of IT, and X CEO Astro Teller. "With X coming to Andhra Pradesh, the state will see revolution in communication," said Lokesh.
The government of Andhra Pradesh has taken up its flagship project to provide high-speed internet and broadband connections to around 12 million households and 130000 enterprises by March 2019. Earlier chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had visited the X facility in the US in May this year.
X said that it was already working with AP State FiberNet creating the FSOC network. "Today AP State FiberNet announced that they'll be rolling out two thousand FSOC links created by our team at X. These FSOC links will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of their network... The links will plug critical gaps to major access points, like cell-towers and WiFi hotspots, that support thousands of people," said Erkmen.