Facebook researchers have developed a way to reduce the cost of deploying fiber-optic cable – and agreed to license it to a new company.
In a recent blog post, an employee at Facebook revealed that company researchers have developed a way to reduce the cost of deploying fiber-optic cable – and agreed to license it to a new company.
Karthik Yogeeswaran, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as a wireless systems engineer at the company, says the new approach is designed to be paired with electrical distribution grids, specifically the medium voltage grid. Details of the approach are scarce; Yogeeswaran says the technique combines “aerial construction techniques with a number of novel technical components.” Use of the technique alongside electric utility infrastructure can lower the cost of deploying fiber to $2 to $3 per meter in developing countries, he asserts.
Facebook’s goal in the development effort is to promote the deployment of open optical broadband access networks in developing countries; using the approach would “bring fiber to nearly every cell tower and within a few hundred meters of most of the population,” Yogeeswaran writes. To this end, Facebook has granted a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to a new company, San Francisco-based NetEquity Networks, to leverage the technique in the field. The principles on which the company will operate include, according to Yogeeswaran:
· Open access to the fiber
· Fair and equitable pricing
· Decreasing prices for capacity as traffic grows
· Equal construction of fiber in both rural and lower-income communities and affluent ones
· Shared benefits of the fiber network with the electric company.
Yogeeswaran estimates that the first major deployment using the new technology will take place within two years.
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