New Delhi, September 20: Hyperlocal cloud technology can complement various government initiatives such as ArSWAN in Arunachal Pradesh and similar programs in the north-eastern states, where connectivity is often erratic due to mountainous terrain.
Partnering with the Common Service Centers (CSC) e-governance initiative, this technology solution has the potential to revolutionize public access to digital information and services. Rohit Paranjpe, CEO and co-founder of SugarBox Networks says: “The technology solution can act as a panacea in bridging the digital divide as intended for an inclusive digital economy.
This ensures smooth implementation of the lively village programs in the region, which among other things aim to improve access to education. This technology solution is already operational in Uttarakhand villages to accelerate reliable and affordable digital access.”
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu last year launched the Statewide Network (ArSWAN) to digitally connect all district headquarters and local administrative centers, Gram Panchayats, across the state.
Edge cloud technology (or fragments of the cloud) can provide information and services at a fraction of the cost to the public (and is actually free to the end user).
The new technology is like a device, which is essentially a fragment of the cloud, placed near the user, who can access buffer-free content and no data within a range of 200-250 meters from the edge server or cloud fragment or downloading them can cost.
Proximity to the user enables seamless access to content as well as fast and reliable access even in regions such as remote border areas and villages in the Northeast, which often lack strong connectivity and still rely on 2G/3G networks. Cloud fragment technology enables access to digital services using these fragments. The cloud fragments – ensure continuous and seamless access to digital services, even with unreliable or no internet connection.
The technology can ensure and improve the smooth functioning of banks and schools, as well as coordination between villages, blocks and subdivisions within the district administrative center, which would not be affected even in places where connectivity is unavailable or intermittent. The patented technology solution in partnership with the CSCs is capable of providing services related to ed-tech, e-commerce and financial transactions in addition to relevant G2C information, Paranjpe pointed out. The key issue with any public Wi-Fi deployment is unit economics. To date, it has been impossible to monetize and maintain public Wi-Fi, which is why we have seen initiatives by tech giants fail.
This results in the Internet bandwidth provided over the public Wi-Fi network being reduced to reduce costs, which then greatly impacts user experience and access. It is a vicious circle that has not yet found a solution. SugarBox’s technology solves this problem on several fronts. First and foremost, the patented technology solution leverages the strengths of a CDN by caching relevant data that an app needs to function. It then allows the user to access the app over a local area network (LAN) regardless of the internet bandwidth available on the public Wi-Fi network. In addition, the technology creates new streams of monetization that the company shares with the public Wi-Fi operator to make the economics sustainable. At scale, the technology can power the public Wi-Fi ecosystem in India, which at 1 per 3500 people is far below the global average of 1 per 15 people. Even today, villages in India, especially in the north-east, lack reliable digital connectivity. The government is undertaking several initiatives, such as PM Gati Shakti, Vibrant Village Program and Model Villages under Border Area Development Program, which will largely bridge the digital divide, and hyperlocal cloud technology can play an important role in the implementation of these initiatives. The patented technology solution is experiencing immense acceptance and affinity for the consumption of digital content and services in villages. For example, residents of Maharajpur Kalan (a village in Uttarakhand that is home to over 400 families) connect to the SugarBox WiFi zone (at the local CSC center) to consume OTT content (movies and web series) daily and frequently to shop (through D2C e-commerce brands) and explore digital wallets. You will soon be able to access information from categories such as Government2Consumer, Healthcare, News, Agritech and more. (UNIVERSITY)