Connectivity technologies for the next billion people
- More than 300 million people have access to a faster Internet thanks to the work of Facebook Connectivity, and we are developing new technologies to connect the next billion people.
- Today, we share the latest developments on these innovative technologies, which can be deployed across the world by sea, land and air to ensure equitable access to broadband internet.
As the Internet becomes more and more ubiquitous in the way we live and work, the technologies used to bring people online have not kept pace. Even though per capita data usage increases by 20-30% each year, nearly half of the world is left behind, either without adequate internet access or by remaining completely disconnected.
New technological breakthroughs are needed to solve this challenge and bring more people online to a faster, more reliable Internet. Facebook connectivity works with partners to develop these technologies and bring them to people around the world. Since 2013, Facebook Connectivity has accelerated access to a faster Internet for more than 300 million people around the world. Earlier this week at an event called Inside the laboratory, our engineers shared the latest developments on some of our connectivity technologies, which aim to improve Internet capacity across the world by sea, land and air:
- Submarine cables connect continents and are the backbone of the global Internet. Our very first transatlantic submarine cable system will link Europe to the United States. This new cable offers 200 times more Internet capacity than the transatlantic cables of the 2000s. This investment builds on other recent submarine expansions, notably 2African Pearls which will be the longest submarine cable system in the world connecting Africa, Europe and Asia.
- To reduce the time and costs required to deploy fiber optic internet in communities, we have developed a robot called Bombyx that moves along power lines, wrapping them with fiber cable. Since we first unveiled Bombyx, it has become lighter, faster and more agile, and we believe it could have a drastic effect on the economics of fiber deployment around the world.
- We have also developed Terragraph, a wireless technology that offers Internet at the speed of fiber on air. This technology has already brought high-speed Internet to more than 6,500 homes in Anchorage, Alaska, and deployment has also started in Perth, Australia, one of the world’s most isolated capitals.
Bombyx wraps the fiber around existing telephone wires, removing obstacles and turning around as needed along its route.
We’re proud to have achieved our goal of delivering reliable high-speed internet to over 300 million people, but the work doesn’t stop there. Connecting the next billion will require many different approaches. And as people seek more immersive experiences in new virtual spaces like the Metaverse, we need to increase access to a more reliable and affordable Internet for all. We believe this work is fundamental to creating greater equity where everyone can enjoy the economic, educational and social benefits of a digitally connected world.
Learn more about our connectivity technologies and developments.