Google X to set up Development Centre in Visakhapatnam

Google X to set up Development Centre in Visakhapatnam

San Francisco-based Google X will be setting up its first offshore development centre in Visakhapatnam, the upcoming IT capital of Andhra Pradesh.

State Information Technology Minister Nara Lokesh who is touring the US seeking investments from companies inked a MoU with Google X on Friday to set up an advanced research centre on the port city of Vizag.

X, an American semi-secret research-and-development facility was founded by Google in January 2010 as Google X and operates as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc that started with the development of Google's self-driving car. The MoU also helps AP to use X's FSOC (free space optical communication) links to bring high-speed Internet to about 12 million households by March 2019.

According to a state government's press release, X will initially supply  the state with  2,000 FSOC links. X engineers and experts on site in Andhra Pradesh will work together with APFSL (AP State FiberNet Ltd) personnel in identifying suitable sites for deployment of the FSOC links. APSFL was created to set up and manage the ambitious transformative information highway of the state AP State FiberNet grid which is expected to bring high quality and affordable digital services to every household, government offices and private agencies. The grid is expected to connect approximately 53 million people.

APFSL, a part of BharatNet initiative has 52% of ring and 48% of linear connectivity and covers 85% of households in the state. Increasing network reliability and connecting isolated and difficult terrain, forest areas, river crossings, railway crossings and the remotest reaches of the state with broadband connections will become easier with the new initiative.

"We are committed to bring high-speed internet and broadband connections to about 12 million households and 1,30000 enterprises (public and private) by March 2019. We are thrilled as APSFL and X is joining forces,"  Lokesh said.

Astro Teller, 'Captain of Moonshots' at X said: "The partnership with AP State FiberNet on this promising innovation would help overcome some of the longstanding challenges of getting high-speed Internet to hard to reach areas".

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