Facebook has always had plans on Africa as a potential market for more subscribers and this latest move attests to that.
According to Recode, Facebook announced yesterday of plans to lay nearly 500 miles (800 kilometres) of cable in Uganda by the end of they year. However Facebook won’t provide the wireless network as they are partnering with Airtel and BCS to provide the actual internet service.
The three organizations are apparently have put forth financial commitments to the project although it is unclear who is paying for what. However, Facebook is reported to be ‘open’ to working with other network providers in the long run.
This project is aimed to provide Internet access to more than three million people which falls in line with Facebook’s commitment to connect the unplugged in developing nations. Facebook’s mission to connect the unplugged has transcended from using solar powered drones to lasers and now physical fibre connection.
This strategy by Facebook is rather brilliant to connect the 4 billion people who are not connected to the internet. Facebook itself has around 1.9 billion monthly active users and there is room to grow. The fact that they want to bring the infrastructure to connect the masses to the internet will make sure that their numbers are up.
Facebook wants to be the “Internet” for the masses and this move in Uganda coupled with their Free Basics program will help them achieve that. Last year, 37% of Ugandans were reported to be Internet users which means that there is still room to grow.