Lasers deliver high-speed internet connectivity through the air across the Congo River

Project Taara has created a way to use lasers to transmit high-speed internet between cities through the open air.

Project Taara is one of Alphabet X's (formerly Google X) so-called moonshot ideas.

Separated by the Congo River, the world’s deepest and second fastest river, Brazzaville and Kinshasa are only 4.8 kilometers apart — yet connectivity is five times more expensive in Kinshasa because the fiber connection has to travel more than 400 kms to route around the river.

After installing Taara’s links to beam connectivity over the river, Taara’s link served nearly 700 TB of data  — the equivalent of watching a FIFA World Cup match in HD 270,000 times —  in 20 days with 99.9% availability.

In the same way traditional fibre uses light to carry data through cables in the ground, Taara’s wireless optical communication links use very narrow, invisible beams of light to deliver fiber-like speeds. To create a link, Taara’s terminals search for each other, detect the other’s beam of light, and lock-in like a handshake to create a high-bandwidth connection.

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