Airtel and BCS, with support from Facebook, to build shared fiber backhaul connectivity in Uganda

As part of our mission to connect the world, Facebook is always exploring new ways to collaborate with operators and other partners. One of the ways we’re doing this is by applying learnings from scaling our global infrastructure to our work in connectivity. We believe one of the most effective ways to scale efforts in infrastructure, such as fiber, is to first engage with operators to understand their priorities. Many operators have told us they need more capacity when it comes to shared backhaul infrastructure.

As a result of these discussions, we’re excited to announce our participation in an approximately 770km fiber build in northwest Uganda that, when completed, will provide backhaul connectivity covering more than 3 million people in Uganda and enable future cross-border connectivity to neighboring countries. We’re working with Airtel Uganda and Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group (BCS), a wholesale bandwidth provider focused on deploying infrastructure in East Africa.

Our investments are focused on addressing shared backhaul capacity so multiple service providers can benefit from the infrastructure. This is why we’re working with multiple operators and welcome others to join us through an open access and shared infrastructure framework.

Upon completion, the new capacity created will be used to provide backhaul to mobile operators’ base stations and other points of presence, reducing their costs and increasing capacity. This will help improve performance and support upgrades to 3G and 4G in areas where operators are bandwidth-constrained.

This initiative in Uganda is part of our broader strategy to improve connectivity everywhere, including in countries where access to submarine and international capacity has been limited. Based on the learnings and results from our work in Uganda, we will engage with other operators in additional countries to scale this model, with the ultimate goal of helping local operators provide robust network coverage.

We’re excited to work with Airtel and BCS to hopefully bring the people of Uganda better access to the internet. Our work is far from over, and we will continue to look for new ways to collaborate and achieve our mission of connecting the entire world.



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