Project Taara is working to roll wireless optical communications out in Kenya

Internet connectivity is critically important to people all around the world. It allows students to learn and people of all ages to work. It's also important to allow people to connect with family and friends as much of the world remains in shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. As important as broadband Internet connectivity is, there are nearly 4 billion people worldwide who are connected.

They're also a large number of people who can't afford connectivity fast enough for video calls or remote work and learning. Project Taara, previously known as The FSOC Project, wants to bridge that digital divide with new ways to deliver affordable high-speed Internet connectivity. Project Taara is developing wireless optical communication technology to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances using beams of light.

The project has been working with partners globally to learn more about how its technology can be used to expand and augment existing fiber networks. The project's main goal is to bring broadband benefits to communities that don't have access. Project Taara recently announced that it is working with Econet and its subsidiaries, Liquid Telecom, and Econet Group, to enhance the availability of affordable high-speed Internet in communities across their networks in sub-Saharan Africa.

The first installations will happen in Kenya and help bring high-speed connectivity to places where it's challenging to lay fiber cables or where deploying fiber is too expensive or dangerous, such as rivers, national parks, and post-conflict zones. Taara works in the same way traditional fiber uses light to carry data through cables under the ground.

Rather than underground, Taara uses light to transmit information at very high speeds through a very narrow invisible beam. The beam is set between two small Taara terminals to create a link. A single link can travel up to 20 kilometers and transmit bandwidth of up to 20 Gbps or more.