Facebook plans to lay almost 500 miles of fiber cable in Africa for better wireless internet
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Facebook has a new plan to get more of Africa online: Fiber optic cables.
The social giant on Monday announced plans to lay nearly 500 miles of fiber cable in Uganda by the end of the year, infrastructure that Facebook believes will provide internet access for more than three million people.
Facebook is not, however, providing its own wireless network. The company is partnering with Airtel and BCS to provide the actual internet service, and says the fiber will offer more support for “mobile operators’ base stations.” The company also says that it’s “open” to working with other network providers down the line.
All three organizations are making some kind of financial commitment to the project, according to a person familiar with the deal, though it’s unclear who is paying for what.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to fix that, both with infrastructure and with efforts to lower the cost of wireless data.