Why it matters: Facebook has long sought ways to increase internet access and quality around the world. Years ago, the social media giant developed a giant solar-powered aircraft that could provide high-speed internet to underserved areas. The project was completed in 2018, but Facebook is now pursuing a new idea: a giant fiber-optic cable running between Europe and the United States.
The objective of this project is to quickly improve the speed of data transfer between the two regions. This cable consists of 24 pairs of fibers and is capable of transmitting "half petabits per second". If the cable construction is successful, that number represents the fastest data transmission speed over any long distance, a "reproducible submarine optical cable system" of its kind.
Facebook will not build the cable itself - it lacks the experience and infrastructure to do so. Instead, the company decided to do so with NEC (formerly Nippon Electronics), a Japanese multinational that specializes in this type of technology. In fact, the giant claims to have built more than 300,000 km of fiber-optic cable so far, "spread nearly eight times above the Earth".
It's not clear how long NEC's latest project will take to complete. We'll be reaching out to the company to see if their PR team would like to give us an estimate, and if we hear about this, we'll update this article.
On any However, Facebook's goal is great here., although it has not given any reason to believe that its intentions are purely altruistic - especially given the controversy surrounding the late revelation.
Facebook hires NEC to build an underwater fiber-optic cable between Europe and the US