Economic benefits brought by Facebook’s investments in Internet infrastructure could reach up to $300 million USD in Cambodia, over $70 billion USD in ASEAN and $200 billion worldwide over the next five years, according to a recent report from a research firm Analysys Mason.
The economic value is generated through Facebook’s investments in submarine cables, edge networks and Open Transport Networks providing fiber backhaul. Such investments improve the quality of Internet access, help network operators to extend coverage, improve performance and reduce costs.
In Cambodia, Facebook’s connectivity infrastructure includes local servers or edge networks, which support economic development, allowing local Internet service providers to access Facebook content at locations closer to their own networks. This reduces costs for service providers and enables growth in internet traffic.
The projected GDP benefit for Cambodia of Facebook’s edge network is calculated in the report to be USD 300 million for the period 2020-2024.
Facebook says it is currently exploring additional connectivity initiatives in Cambodia and remains committed to bringing more people online to a faster Internet.
“The importance of reliable, affordable Internet connectivity has become more apparent to many people adapting to new ways of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, 3.5 billion people around the world remain unconnected to the Internet. Closing the digital divide is critical to ensure access to information, education and healthcare,” said Robert Pepper, Facebook’s Head of Global Connectivity Policy and Planning.
Facebook’s investments in submarine cables increase the supply of international bandwidth, reduce costs for ISPs and result in more connectivity. In Southeast Asia, Facebook invested in the APG cable and Southeast Asia Japan Cable 2, as well as three new trans-Pacific cables planned for the next few years.
Across ASEAN countries, Facebook’s investments in edge networks and international capacity together will enable internet traffic to increase by 9%, according to the report.
Facebook also invests in Open Transport Networks (OTNx) that deploy fiber infrastructure for backhaul for network operators. OTNx initiatives spur economic development by improving the quality and affordability of services and allowing more people to get online.
“Over the years, Facebook has invested in infrastructure and partnerships to address the barriers to connectivity. We recently commissioned three reports to examine the economic impact of our investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Latin America. Findings show that our programs are estimated to generate more than $200 billion USD in economic growth for these regions collectively over the next five years,” Pepper said.
For more information, read the full ASEAN report here.