In its drive to bring internet access and its benefits to everyone, Facebook has partnered with Nigeria’s MainOne to build a 750 km open-access fiber network in Edo and Ogun States, Nigeria.
The metro fiber infrastructure from the open-access transport network is expected to serve over 1 million people living in those states. These includes people living in both state capitals – Benin City (Edo), Abeokuta (Ogun), Sagamu and 10 other towns.
Expected to be completed later this year, this new infrastructure would be used to connect mobile operators’ base stations, internet service providers (ISPs), points of presence (POPs), and public locations including schools and hospitals. This will help in reducing costs and, more importantly, increase capacity.
In order to make this project a success, Facebook would be co-investing with a number of local authorities and regulators. This is to ensure that the project leverages support from the local bureaucracy in addition to MainOne’s strength as a wholesale Telecoms Infrastructure service provider.
“We are working closely with MainOne and other partners to accelerate broadband deployment. In Nigeria, we are bringing together Facebook’s learnings from scaling our global infrastructure with MainOne’s knowledge of the local environment to develop and test new working models for multiple operators to access common infrastructure.”
Ibrahima Ba, Network Investments Lead for Emerging Markets at Facebook.
And in addition to bringing people online to a faster internet, this project would further deepen broadband penetration in Nigeria.
On her part, Funke Opeke, MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We believe that this partnership and the open-access network we have developed will be beneficial to improving the quality of access and accelerating the digital transformation in Ogun and Edo States.”
This is not Facebook’s first initiative to provide Nigerians with fast, affordable, and reliable access to the internet. In 2016, the social media giant rolled out its Express WiFi service to communities in Lagos.
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