- Facebook launched a new initiative in collaboration with a local ISP and utility provider that would deliver internet access to thousands of families in Virginia this autumn
- Facebook’s announcement comes only a few months after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) announced a $700 million investment from the American Rescue Plan to achieve universal connection in the state by 2024
- According to Facebook, its engineers have spent years trying to keep the physical infrastructure that runs Facebook products and services cutting-edge, efficient, and scalable as trends such as video and virtual reality have increased demand for capacity
- As new data centers come online, Facebook will continue to collaborate and invest in essential backbone network infrastructure
On Thursday, Facebook launched a new initiative in collaboration with a local ISP and utility provider that would deliver internet access to thousands of families in Virginia this autumn. Facebook was already constructing fiber networks to connect its data centers in Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina when the project began. With the fiber already in place, Facebook collaborated with Appalachian Power and GigaBeam Networks to extend the networks to around 6,000 houses in Grayson County, Virginia. By the end of this fall, households are expected to have high-speed broadband connections.
“We’re attempting to tackle really complex issues. “If they weren’t difficult, we wouldn’t have 19 million individuals who were unserved or underserved,” said Michele Kohler, manager of Facebook’s network investments team. He also stated that they are attempting to figure out how they can play a role in the equation, with these complicated relationships, in order to assist individuals to get connected faster.
Firms Collaborating with Facebook
Kohler also stated that Facebook is giving the collaborating firms “engineering and technical resources.” The planned network would make use of a new Virginia legislation passed last year that permits electric and communications firms to run fiber over existing poles and conduits. Still, the future of these networks is uncertain, as utility providers such as Rappahannock Electric Cooperative have been sued by property owners for infringing on their property rights while attempting to use the new provisions.
Facebook’s announcement comes only a few months after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) announced a $700 million investment from the American Rescue Plan to achieve universal connection in the state by 2024. According to Facebook, its engineers have spent years trying to keep the physical infrastructure that runs Facebook products and services cutting-edge, efficient, and scalable as trends such as video and virtual reality have increased demand for capacity.
To offer the greatest possible experience for the 2.7 billion people who use their products, they have developed more efficient servers and data centers, and they have reinforced the long-haul fiber networks that connect their data centers to one another and to the rest of the globe.
New Data Centers
As new data centers come online, Facebook will continue to collaborate and invest in essential backbone network infrastructure. They adopt a practical approach to network infrastructure investment, utilizing whichever strategy is most effective for the task at hand. These possibilities include using long-established relationships to get access to existing fiber-optic cable infrastructure; collaborating on mutually advantageous investments in new infrastructure; or, in cases where they have a special need, leading the investment in new fiber-optic cable routes.
Facebook, in particular, invested in new fiber links, which give much-needed resilience and scalability. They are constructing two new roads that demonstrate this strategy as a continuation of their earlier investments. Facebook plans to invest in new long-distance fiber to provide direct connectivity to our data facilities in Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina.
“I’m a strong believer that with this level of high speed and connectivity, people won’t be forced to migrate out to cities to find excellent quality jobs,” stated Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in response to Facebook’s plans on Thursday.
This work is a continuation of Facebook’s network infrastructure development initiatives. That effort started nearly a decade ago when a small team of engineers planned and built one of the world’s most energy-efficient data centers from the bottom up, including software, servers, racks, power supply, and cooling systems.
When they began construction on their newest operational data center in New Mexico, they installed a 200-mile cable to connect it to the one in Texas. With state-of-the-art optical fiber, this subterranean cable is currently one of the highest-capacity networks in the United States. The resultant cable outperforms existing high-capacity cables in terms of efficiency.
Facebook applications are utilized all around the world. Once they’ve established a new data center and terrestrial fiber network, they’ll need to link it to other data centers and networks, some of which are located across seas. As a result, they have worked with partners to construct many undersea fiber-optic cables that dominate the market in terms of routes, capacity, and flexibility. These include Marea, the highest-capacity subsea cable ever to cross the Atlantic; Havfrue, the first new cable system to cross the North Atlantic in almost two decades; and Jupiter, a high-speed optical underwater cable connecting Japan and the United States.
Their most recent fiber projects, which connect our data centers in Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina, represent the next stages in their continuous commitment to network infrastructure development. It will continue to develop its infrastructure in order to give the greatest possible experience to the 2.7 billion individuals who use its goods.