Bringing more people online to a faster internet.
Together with hundreds of partners across dozens of countries, Facebook is working to help overcome the global internet connectivity challenges of accessibility, affordability, and awareness — with the hope that one day, everyone will have high-quality internet access.
Connectivity is at the heart of Facebook's mission of giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. High-quality internet connectivity not only gives people a voice, but it creates new opportunities to share knowledge that can strengthen both local communities and global economies. Building upon the work that began with Internet.org in 2013, we're collaborating with partners around the world to help connect the approximately 3.8 billion people who aren’t yet online.
No single organization or technology can solve the global internet connectivity challenge alone. Together with hundreds of partners including internet service providers, network operators, developers, local entrepreneurs, non-profits, universities, and governments all over the world, we're committed to exploring new ways of bringing fast, reliable internet to those without it.
Connectivity is at the heart of Facebook's mission to bring the world closer together. High-quality internet access enables richer communications and creates new opportunities to share knowledge and strengthen communities and economies.
— Jay Parikh
Head of Engineering and Infrastructure
Overcoming the global internet connectivity challenges of accessibility, affordability, and awareness requires a multi-faceted approach.
Bringing more people online, improving network speeds, and enhancing coverage requires tremendous investment and planning across the ecosystem of mobile operators, device manufacturers, and other connectivity partners globally. To help speed progress in these areas, we've developed several new analytics tools to help our connectivity partners improve their networks, operate more efficiently, and make better business decisions.
Even in areas where internet access is available, the benefits of connectivity may not be obvious. The Free Basics program addresses this barrier by partnering with mobile operators to provide people with useful online services — such as news, health information, local jobs, communications tools, education resources, and local government information – without data charges. By allowing people to experience the relevance and value of being online, Free Basics provides an onramp to the broader internet.
Connecting remote communities using existing, conventional technologies such as optical fiber or microwave links on towers is often expensive and unsustainable. This is why Facebook is also working on breakthrough technologies that can beam connectivity throughout the atmosphere – extending existing backhaul at lower costs than trying to dig fiber to these remote regions. This includes our work in areas including high-altitude platform stations and satellites.
As an open-source wireless access platform, OpenCellular is focused on developing new and affordable mobile base station technology that can help expand network capacity and coverage, making it more cost-effective for operators to deploy networks in rural places where coverage is scarce. OpenCellular can be deployed to support a range of access and backhaul options, from a mobile network-in-a-box to an access point supporting everything from 2G to Wi-Fi to LTE.
To meet the unique challenges of connecting rural communities, we're collaborating with global operators to test new wireless technologies and operating models that will help extend connectivity to areas that lack mobile broadband coverage. Recently, we completed deployments of high-speed mobile internet to tens of thousands of people in the Peruvian highlands and Amazonian rainforest.
Shared Backhaul Infrastructure
As the highway to connectivity, reliable fiber and wireless backhaul allows multiple operators to benefit from the infrastructure we're putting in place with our partners. In addition to expanding capacity, we expect that our backhaul investments will help reduce network costs and improve performance. As an early step forward, working with our partners, we've completed a 770km fiber build in northwest Uganda, that will cover more than 3 million people and enable future cross-border connectivity to neighboring countries.
Telecom Infra Project
Launched by Facebook with a number of other global technology and telecom leaders, the Telecom Infra Project is a community focused on designing and building technologies that fundamentally lead to better, more efficient, and more flexible telecom infrastructure. The Telecom Infra Project spurs collaboration and innovation across the entire telecom landscape, lowering costs while expanding network infrastructure development and connectivity around the world.
Under-connected urban and suburban environments pose connectivity challenges that are different from those of rural areas. Dense cities with complicated infrastructure make it very difficult to run fiber to every household, which limits bandwidth and constrains the ability to experience reliable, high-quality internet access. With Terragraph wireless backhaul technology, lightning-fast gigabit speeds can complement fiber, accelerate time-to-market and help to serve hard-to-reach locations in a cost-effective way.
Express Wi-Fi is a program that works with internet service providers, network operators, and local entrepreneurs to help expand connectivity in underserved locations around the world. By offering fast and affordable Wi-Fi at hotspots in their communities, retail entrepreneurs are able to generate income through their own businesses.
Get in touch
If you're interested in partnering with us to solve the global internet connectivity challenge, let us know.Contact