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Power Grids for Internet Connectivity

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. How can Power Grids Democratise Mobile Broadband?
  2. Beyond Power Connections: An Infrastructure That Does it all
  3. Is This a Win-Win Situation for all?

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

How can Power Grids Democratise Mobile Broadband?

How do you perceive a power grid? Just an infrastructure with key transmission nodes, substations, power transformers and circuit breakers that help bring electricity from the power plant to your home? Not really… there is much more to the power grid now!  

The first leg of powering up India was achieved through providing electricity to each and every household. By 2018, the Government of India’s Saubhagya scheme has brought electricity to 25 million households. Now the second leg of powering homes is underway through the democratization of mobile broadband. The government is committed to empowering Indians with internet services and taking high-speed broadband to millions of homes through fibre technology. Under the BharatNet project, all Gram panchayats will be provided high speed broadband connection in the years to come.

Beyond Power Connections: An Infrastructure That Does it all

In India, the buck stops at infrastructure – be it power grids or metro trains, highways or internet. We can never seem to have enough infrastructure. Now it’s about time that we bring in some innovations in synergies to build infrastructure at breakneck speed.

In a very first, the national powergrid also becomes a carrier grade network. It transforms into a network that does all in tandem – from supplying power to enabling internet infrastructure.

The national grid has now diversified its services into telecommunications to utilize available resources in establishing and operating National Grid. The company has established broadband telecom network connecting POPs on an extensively spread transmission infrastructure and is the only utility in the country having a pan-India optic fibre spread.

With 99.99% reliability on its telecom network, the national power transmission company has been one of the major implementing bodiesfor telecom projects viz. Bharat Net and National Knowledge Network (NKN).

The national power grid, in collaboration with STL, is providing MPLS data network to telcos and enterprises so that the end consumer gets internet access at a much faster speed. The MPLS data network provides connectivity that meets the industry standards for consistent, secure and reliable data delivery. Even the small distant towns will have accessibility and affordability of high speed internet through the backbone provided through the company’s extensive network.

Is This a Win-Win Situation for all?

This model will be used to provide connectivity to the enterprise segment customers on their MPLS Cloud along with providing IP transit services to global content providers.

This is a win-win situation for all. These services will reduce costs and enhance the QoS of hosted content. At the end, this will translate into better internet services for users that too in a cost-effective manner. Enterprises can be networked to provide seamless connectivity for managed data and voice services exclusively for the organizations that will also save considerable revenue on the telecom tower. And this also paves the way for newer monetization models for the power entity. Going forward, the company can tap opportunities in data-centre space.

But for now, we can surely say that this innovation has brought the concept of ‘Power to All’ to reality.


What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.

This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).

An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.

The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.

One thought on “Power Grids for Internet Connectivity

  1. Indigrid says:

    We believe the infrastructure necessary to transmit and deliver electricity is vital to India‘s continued economic advancement given the inter-regional power deficit resulting from a mismatch between power generation and load centers and the demand-supply deficit which is expected to result from India‘s projected GDP growth. Private investment in transmission is a key focus area for India‘s Ministry of Power. We are well-positioned to take advantage of the growth potential of India‘s power transmission industry given our financial position, support from our Sponsor, and the robust regulatory framework for power transmission in India.

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