Facebook started a project called Express Wi-Fi to provide internet service to the unserved communities around the world. For this, it targeted five developing countries and partnered with local telecoms. Local business owners can operate public Wi-Fi hotspots and sell high speed internet to people. Also, its price was considerably low as compared to overpriced cellular data connections.
It launched Express Wi-Fi app on the Google Play Store where users can directly download the app for using any hotspots. So, this app eliminated reconfiguration process required in the phone. The app also provided locations of nearby hotspots. Users can report any error or problem with the system directly to Facebook via app.
Facebook informed yesterday about its efforts for expanding Express Wi-Fi. This app lets unserved communities use internet service. There are still 3.8 billion people around the world who don’t have internet access. So, in order to grow its market, Facebook is working on its efforts to provide internet access to all people around the world.
Further, company states that it is developing software in Boston for managing networks more easily. This will also help network operators to deploy mesh Wi-Fi networks effectively. For large-scale Wi-Fi mesh networks, it is working on a brand new routing framework at its headquarters in California. These large-scale Wi-Fi mesh networks will have up to 50 access points.
Facebook is still deciding its next steps
Initially, Express Wi-Fi was available in the following five countries: Kenya, Nigeria, India, Tanzania, and Indonesia. In 2016, it was launched for local ISPs and business people to provide internet services at cheap rates in developing countries.
Currently, Facebook has number of teams working on Express Wi-Fi in Ireland, Israel, and Dubai. Also, there is a pilot program going on for mesh Wi-Fi technology in Tanzania. Facebook do not have any solid plans for mesh Wi-Fi in other countries right now. But, it is still deciding its next steps.
The information from Facebook about a two-year project suggests that it is still determined towards its goal of bringing internet access to unserved communities. Facebook also worked on several other internet projects. But, all of them didn’t succeed.
In June, Facebook announced that it was dropping the idea of Aquila project. This project aimed at delivering internet using high-flying drones. The company said that there are many other companies working on the same idea but with a high-altitude aircraft. So, instead of using high-flying drones and creating their own project, it decided to partner with them.