While it might seem that the internet is all about entertainment and social networks, it is an entirely different story in the developing world. People want and need basic connectivity for news, information, health care and business, which is why Facebook is leading Internet.org in its efforts to “bring internet access and the benefits of connectivity to the portion of the world that doesn‘t have them.” As Internet.org suggests, access to basic online services – such as banking and payments, or a farmer getting a correct weather forecast, or a child getting access to online educational materials – can make a huge difference in the lives and well-being of people in areas without reliable internet service.
As we have seen from our own work, the availability of online services in the developing world is a game-changer. Education and economic growth can flourish when people have access to digital communications. This is why Cambium Networks is so excited about becoming one of the first Wi-Fi vendors to join Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi (XWF) program.
Express Wi-Fi seeks to help operators bring the internet to populations that do not enjoy reliable or affordable internet access, while at the same time empowering local entrepreneurs to provide quality internet access to their neighbors and communities in order to build businesses and make steady incomes. Having been proven in rugged locations around the world, Cambium Networks’ line of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi connectivity solutions is a natural fit for the Express Wi-Fi ecosystem, leveraging Cambium Networks’ wireless fabric of Frictionless Wi-Fi cnPilot™ enterprise access equipment, ePMP™ wireless point-to-point links and cnMaestro™ end-to-end cloud-based management system, to deliver on Facebook’s XWF networks. Cambium Networks powered Express Wi-Fi networks are currently live in India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Indonesia.
Facebook’s XWF Wi-Fi program seeks to provide better internet for everyone by overcoming the problems of accessibility, affordability and awareness. Facebook’s broader connectivity programs also include an Innovation Lab for software development and testing, as well as exploring the use of unmanned aircraft and lasers to deliver data to underserved parts of the planet.
There is a natural partnership between internet.org and Cambium Networks, given our history of designing robust and affordable wireless networks that have been deployed around the world. We have a long history of helping internet service providers and resellers provide service in hard to reach areas such as remote areas of Australia, Colombia and Nepal, to name just a few. We even have our own “Connectivity Hero” awards, which recognize heroes who go above and beyond to deliver the benefits of the internet to people and places previously without service. Using Cambium Networks equipment run on solar electricity, this solution now provides connectivity to the area, including the added benefit of now enabling some school-age children to take classes online from the safety of their homes, rather than having to stay with relatives while attending school remotely.
Our role in the Facebook Express Wi-Fi ecosystem is in total alignment with Cambium Networks’ mission of bringing affordable connectivity to the world, and we look forward to continuing this work. We also invite the larger technology, finance, government and social empowerment communities to join us in connecting the approximately 3.8 billion unconnected people around the globe, in order to improve everyone’s quality of life and truly “connect the unconnected.”