Networking giant Cisco, has announced it has joined Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner Programme to close the digital divide and enable more people around the world to get connected to a faster, better internet.
According to the 2019 EIU Internet Inclusivity Index commissioned by Facebook, about 3.8 billion people don’t have fast and reliable Internet access. The study revealed that, in contrast to previous years, progress has stalled on closing the digital divide. Although mobile internet services continue to improve, many low-income countries are seeing slow progress.
As part of its corporate commitment to global problem solving and building a better future, Cisco has a goal to positively impact 1 billion lives by 2025. The internet has the potential to transform more people’s lives, bringing benefits in areas such as education, financial services, health, agriculture and transport.
Express Wi-Fi is part of Facebook Connectivity, a collection of programmes, technologies and partnerships designed to increase the availability, affordability and awareness of high-quality internet access. With Express Wi-Fi, local entrepreneurs, equipment manufacturers, mobile network operators and service providers can build, grow and monetise their Wi-Fi businesses in a sustainable and scalable way. Through the Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner Programme, Cisco will build network hardware and software that is compatible with Express Wi-Fi, helping to bring more people online and improve the internet experience.
“We are pleased to have Cisco join us in providing more affordable, fast and reliable connectivity,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, vice president of Facebook Connectivity. “With Express Wi-Fi, Cisco and Facebook will extend access to the internet in underserved areas where connectivity can offer more opportunities for development and growth.”
“Cisco has a history of connecting the unconnected, and as an Express Wi-Fi technology partner, we can accelerate the potential for better, faster internet services without boundaries,” said Greg Dorai, vice president of Wireless Product Management for Enterprise Networking, Cisco.
Dorai added: “This programme offers another path for Cisco to team with its service provider partners to deliver sustainable, high-quality public Wi-Fi via networked solutions that are ready to integrate with Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi.”