Social networking giant Facebook has hired Kevin Lo, the former General Manager for Google Fiber, as its new Director of Infrastructure Connectivity and Investments. Lo's new role will be to shape Facebook's strategy and investments to build wireless technologies and to improve global connectivity. In a Facebook post to his followers, Lo said that a majority of people around the world who have access to the internet still live on 2G speeds and his mission at Facebook will be to move global connectivity forward by introducing new wireless connectivity technologies and long haul fiber optic cables. Lo will also be actively involved in Facebook's fiber-optic cable deal with Microsoft as well as Facebook's Terragraph project which relies on high-frequency unlicensed airwaves to improve connectivity in densely populated areas.
Unlike Google Fiber, Facebook does not wish to become an Internet Service Provider but will offer a way forward through wireless technologies and by laying fiber optic cables. As per reports, Kevin Lo will not work on Facebook's Free Basics program which is aimed at bringing limited internet services to those who have limited or no access to the internet. According to a statement posted by Facebook, they're eager and excited to have Lo join the team as his role will be comprised of helping the social media giant to "shape their strategy and broader framework for Facebook's infrastructure connectivity investments with partners" helping to construct an ecosystem with active partners. He will also help to speed up the adoption new tech that will reportedly have a huge impact on how internet infrastructure is deployed.
While delivering a keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the Free Basics program had made the internet available to 19 million people, but it was the company's first try at connecting regions that have no internet access. He added that the company is also partnering with the likes of Microsoft and Google who are introducing Wi-Fi services to railway stations, utilizing unused television broadcasting spectrum and bringing in internet services to uncovered regions using drones. With Kevin Lo aboard, Facebook will not only continue to engage in existing infrastructure projects but will also make additional investments in previously-untouched regions across the world to ensure high-speed internet access for everyone. In India, where its Free Basics program got kicked out because of net neutrality issues, the company will work with telecoms and regulators to bring down infrastructure and operating costs as well.