Facebook Connectivity Investments to Deliver Over $200 Billion in Economic Benefits
By Robert Pepper, Facebook
July 6, 2020
The importance of reliable, affordable internet connectivity has become more apparent to many people adapting to new ways of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, 3.5 billion people around the world remain unconnected to the internet. Closing the digital divide is critical to ensure access to information, education and healthcare.
Over the years, Facebook has invested in infrastructure and partnerships to address the barriers to connectivity. We recently commissioned three reports to examine the economic impact of our investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Latin America. Findings show that our programs are estimated to generate more than $200 billion USD in economic growth for these regions collectively over the next five years.
Facebook’s investments in submarine cables increase the supply of international bandwidth, reduce costs for ISPs and result in more connectivity.
In Latin America, for example, Facebook is part of a consortium deploying the Malbec cable between Brazil and Argentina that will double international capacity to Argentina. The cable is expected to improve reliability and reduce costs for ISPs. NERA estimates that the cable will also increase internet penetration in Argentina by 6% and 3% in Brazil.
In Southeast Asia, Facebook invested in the APG cable and Southeast Asia Japan Cable 2, as well as three new trans-Pacific cables planned for the next few years. While too new to include in the Sub-Saharan Africa report, our recently announced 2Africa cable will circle the continent, interconnect 23 countries, and triple the capacity of all the subsea cables serving Africa today.
Our edge network infrastructure, including Points of Presence and co-located local caches, support economic development by allowing operators to access Facebook content at locations closer to their own networks. This cuts international connectivity and transit costs for operators and improves people’s experience.