Facebook plans to build fiber optic network connecting Ashburn in Virginia and Columbus in Ohio. The fiber network will span more than 440 kilometers on its way connecting the neighborhoods and businesses.
The announcement came at a function where the Governor Jim Justice and Senator Shelley Moore Capito joined representatives from Facebook. The representatives from Facebook explained their plans to deploy fiber optic cables to provide high-speed broadband services.
The new cables in the region will bring job opportunities to the locals. The jobs related to fiber optic cable installation and fiber splicing would be in demand. Optical fiber cables come in reels have a limitation in length that can be coiled. Typically the underground cables come in four to six kilometers wound on reels/drums. Longer lengths are possible but need to consider factors such as route design, logistics etc.
The U.S Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said the project is expected to begin this year and will result in an around 440-km network in West Virginia, providing the state with enhanced fiber optic connectivity. Broadband providers will soon be able to provide enhanced service through parts of West Virginia.
Fiber optic network will bring new life to the localities surrounding its route. Ashburn is 48 kilometers northwest of Washington D.C and is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. It is estimated that seventy percent of the world’s internet traffic passes through Ashburn.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
“Making sure West Virginia has reliable, high-speed internet has been a priority of mine since I was first elected to Congress. Today’s announcement with Facebook is an important step toward ensuring our state has the critical infrastructure to support broadband deployment, and I know it will help so many in our state, especially the rural communities that are unserved.”
Gov. Jim Justice
“Broadband development is absolutely critical to moving West Virginia forward,” . “An investment of this magnitude in our state is really big news and will help us continue to show the world how great West Virginia truly is.”
Kevin Salvadori, Director of Network Investments, Facebook
“Access to broadband internet drives economic growth and opportunity, but there are still too many unserved communities, including here in West Virginia. We see the need for long haul fiber as an opportunity to provide critical infrastructure where it did not previously exist. To that end, we’ve designed our project to attract potential local and regional providers to expand broadband internet access for the communities surrounding our builds.”
Facebook’s fiber optic project will connect two major internet exchanges on its journey from Ashburn to Columbus. Broadband providers will be able to expand by branching out from the main cable. They can take the branched cables to nearby communities along the route to distribute high-speed broadband services.
Construction will begin in 2019 and is estimated to complete in another one and a half to two year time frame. This announcement by Facebook is a step in the right direction and reflects its global strategy to support network building process by partnering and or investing in fiber optic infrastructure projects.