Alphabet’s X (formerly Google X) is testing high-speed & high-capacity connectivity in rural India using regular light beams. In addition to closing the Digital Divide, this approach could also be a boon for rural or remote IoT installations. When I was at LED/laser startup Soraa, we saw the promise of modulating LEDs & lasers, because of their fast decay times, to transmit data at high speeds using visible light.

One of the biggest challenges of deploying IoT technology in remote locations is the lack of wired or wireless broadband Internet connectivity. Light-beam-based Internet connectivity could enable inexpensive WANs for IoT installations in, say, California farms, remote industrial facilities, and other locations where installing fiber or cellular infrastructure does not make economic sense.

Read more about Alphabet’s ground-based Free Space Optical Communications testing here.