Hyperlocal Cloud tech can be Digital India enabler across NE

New Delhi, Sept 20: The hyperlocal cloud technology can supplement various government initiatives like ArSWAN in Arunachal Pradesh and similar schemes in the North-Eastern states, where connectivity is often irregular due to the mountainous terrain.
Through the partnership with e-governance initiative of the Common Service Centres (CSC), this technology solution can revolutionise public access to digital information and services. Rohit Paranjpe, CEO and Co-founder of SugarBox Networks, says: “The tech solution can act as a cure-all in bridging the digital divide, as envisioned for an inclusive digital economy.
Thus, ensuring smooth execution of the vibrant village programs in the region, which aim to improve access to education, among others. This technology solution is already operational in villages of Uttarakhand, to accelerate reliable and affordable digital access.”
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu last year launched the state-wide area network (ArSWAN) for providing digital connectivity to all the district headquarters and local administrative centres, gram panchayats, across the state.
Edge cloud (or fragments of the cloud) technology can deliver information and services at a fraction of the cost to the public (and which is actually free of cost for the end user).
The new technology is like a device that is essentially a fragment of the cloud that is placed near the user, who within a range of 200-250meters from the edge server or cloud fragment, can access or download buffer-free content and at no data cost.
Being close to the user, allows seamless access to content, as well as fast and reliable access even in geographies like remote border areas and villages in the NE, which often lack strong connectivity and continue to rely on 2G/3G networks. The Cloud Fragment technology enables access to digital services using these fragments. The Cloud fragments – ensure continued and seamless access to Digital services, even in cases of unreliable or no internet connection.
The technology can ensure and augment smooth functioning of banks and schools, coordination between villages, blocks, and sub-divisions within the district administrative centre that would not suffer even in those places where connectivity is not available or intermittent. The patented technology solution in partnership with the CSCs is capable of delivering services related to Ed-tech, E-commerce, financial transactions, in addition to relevant G2C information, Paranjpe emphasized. The primary problem with any public Wi-Fi deployment is the unit economics. Till date, public Wi-Fi has been impossible to monetise and sustain, which is why we have seen initiatives by Tech giants fail.
This leads to reducing the internet bandwidth provisioned over the public Wi-Fi network to cut costs, which then severely impacts the user experience and access. It’s a vicious circle that hasn’t found a solution yet. SugarBox’s technology solves this problem on multiple fronts. First and foremost, the patented technology solution utilises the strengths of a CDN, where it caches relevant data required by an App to function. It then enables the user access to the App over a Local Area Network (LAN), independent of the internet bandwidth available on the public Wi-Fi network. In addition to this, the technology creates new monetization streams, which the company shares with the public Wi-Fi operator to make the economics sustainable. At scale, the technology can spur the public Wi-Fi ecosystem in India, which at 1 per 3500 people, is far behind the global average of 1 per 15 people. Even today, villages in India, predominantly in the NE, lack reliable digital connectivity. The government is undertaking several initiatives, such as PM Gati Shakti, the Vibrant Village Program, and Model Villages under the Border Area Development Program, that will bridge the digital divide to a large extent, and the hyperlocal cloud technology is capable of playing an integral role in deployment of these initiatives. The patented technology solution is witnessing immense adoption and affinity in villages for consuming digital content and services. For instance, residents at Maharajpur Kalan (a village in Uttarakhand housing over 400 families) are connecting to the SugarBox wifi zone (at the local CSC centre), for their daily consumption of OTT content (movies and web-series), often shopping (through D2C e-commerce brands), as well as exploring digital wallets. They will soon be accessing information from categories such as Government2Consumer, Healthcare, News, Agritech, and much more. (UNI)