Facebook has announced new technologies that will bring billions of more people online and strengthen existing infrastructure projects.
To connect the next billion, changing the way wired and wireless internet is produced, Facebook hopes to provide faster and cheaper internet in Africa, partnering with industry players.
More than 500 million people have benefitted from Facebook Connectivity’s faster internet since 2013, and Facebook aims to make high-quality, affordable connectivity a reality for the next billion people.
Commenting on the new connectivity technologies, Dan Rabinovitsj, VP of Facebook Connectivity, said, “We have seen that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for individuals and businesses.
In Nigeria, increased broadband connectivity resulted in a 7.8 per cent increase in the likelihood of employment for people in areas connected to fibre optic cables.
While increased connectivity led to a 19 per cent increase in GDP per capita in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Facebook Connectivity works with partners to develop new technologies for access to high-speed internet.
Today we’re sharing the latest developments on some of these connectivity technologies, which aim to deliver major improvements in internet capacity across the world by sea, land, and air.”
Some of Facebook’s new connectivity technologies include:
Investment in improving subsea fiber optic cables and expanding their reach to connect more people better. Facebook and its partners recently launched the first-ever transatlantic, 24 fiber pair subsea cable system, which will connect Europe to the U.S.
This new cable provides 200 times more capacity than the transatlantic cables of the 2000s and builds on Facebook’s recent news about 2Africa Pearls. This subsea cable connects Africa, Asia, and Europe and makes the 2Africa cable system the longest in the world, with a capacity to provide connectivity for up to 3 billion people.
Using robotics for faster fiber deployment.
Dan Rabinovistis, while speaking virtually, said Facebook was making fiber deployment significantly more economical through Bombyx, a robot that can climb the medium voltage power lines that already exist in so much of the world and install fiber onto them.
He acknowledged that Bombyx is lighter, faster, and more agile than our first-generation design. He said: “We are also making Bombyx fully autonomous, using machine vision sensors to better navigate around obstacles.”
Bombyx aims to make the single biggest drop in the cost of terrestrial fiber deployment by combining innovations in the fields of robotics and fiber-optic cable design to increase the amount of terrestrial fiber on land — without the expense of trenching to lay fiber underground.
Terragraph: Fiber connections through the air- Terragraph, a wireless solution that beams fiber-like connectivity through the air, has already brought high-speed internet to more than 6,500 homes in Anchorage, Alaska and deployment have started in Perth, Australia.
We license Terragraph for free to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). To date, these partners have shipped more than 30,000 Terragraph units to more than 100 service providers and system integrators worldwide.
Chief Technology Officer of Facebook, Mike Schroepfer, apologized for the outage on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Monday. Schroepfer said that the outage was really humbling, especially for small businesses and families that lost service for hours. The issue has been resolved.
Announcing the new investment in technology to bring more people online, Schroepfer said, “High-speed internet is still lacking seriously across the globe, so we had to think deep and developed robots for fiber deployment, amongst others.”