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Intel India is piloting the Internet on power lines

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BENGALURU: Nivruti Rai, country manager of Intel India, said the company has piloted a project in India called WoW, or Wireless over Wire, which uses the Internet through electric wires. Since most villages have power connections, this could be a big step forward in making the internet available in remote areas if the technology proves to be viable. The installation of optical fiber in all the villages is expensive and will take a long time. Some, like Elon Musk’s Starlink, try to achieve the same goal with satellites.
“Wherever there is electricity, we have a scalable and affordable way to deliver data (over electric wires) to the village. And from the village to the houses, it could be Wi-Fi, ”says Rai. The middle mile, she says, is what is resolved. Optical fiber is available up to the level of the panchayat. The major obstacle was the segment from the panchayat to the village.
Data on power lines presents challenges. They are more susceptible to external interference than when they are passed through the optical fiber. You have to see how well Intel overcame them.
Intel said the concept of broadband over power lines is similar to how telephone lines carry both voice and data by dividing the line into separate channels. Low-frequency electrical signals carry ordinary telephone calls, and high-frequency signals carry Internet data. In the case of power lines, while low frequency alternating current carries electrical energy, a high frequency signal carries broadband data. The power outlet at the receiving point will require some modification in order for the various signals to be routed to the respective devices.
“My goal is bigger than me, bigger than Intel, it’s for India. Because if 600,000 villages are connected to data, if they have access to the global market, India will develop and we will grow with them, ”explains Rai.
The WoW program is part of a larger initiative by Intel where it works with industry, academia and government for the development and deployment of AI across all sectors. As part of this, he recently organized the second edition of all.ai, a 24-hour global marathon on five continents, including India. Last year, Intel established an applied AI research center called INAI in collaboration with PHFI (Public Health Foundation of India), IIIT-Hyderabad and the Telangana government.
Data, says Rai, is a valuable commodity, especially if it’s clear, annotated, and contextualized. “This is what we are building with the INAI. And, we will offer solutions, technologies and partnerships through our programs and create value from India for the world, ”she said.
Recently, in partnership with Mahindra, Nagpur Municipal Corporation and CSIRCRRI, INAI launched a program called iRaste in Nagpur. “By harnessing the power of AI, we aim to reduce the number of road accidents in Nagpur city by up to 50% and create a model of Vision Zero for the country,” said Rai. .
Intel, Rai says, is also pushing AI through skills. The company has trained 200,000 children through the Intel AI for Youth program.