Facebook has announced a group of 20 start-ups that will take part in its new Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity program, which aims to explore new ways to maximize internet connectivity in more regions.
As explained by Facebook:
“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the hard truth of the digital divide and the critical need for reliable, affordable internet connectivity. The Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity program will strengthen emerging startups focused on the same goal of bringing more people online to a faster internet.”
The 20 businesses will take part in a 12-week virtual program, which aims to help them scale their operations through training, workshops, access to experts, and meetings with potential strategic partners and investors.
The Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity Program, which begins this week, is going to be a virtual program that will run for the duration of 12 weeks and it is beginning in the following week. It will train these new start-ups on how to upscale their operations, and it will also provide them workshops, meetings with experts, and will help them connect with potential investors and partners that can help them in the growth of their new start-ups. In February, there will be a demo day in which all these participants will showcase what they learned from the program.
Facebook is not just a social network. In all these years, it has transformed into a lot more than just a platform for casual gossip. With its research labs and innovative programs, it has already carved a name of its company in stone, and its recent ventures to expand connectivity amongst millions of people in various regions that did not have access to the internet are commendable.
One such venture to expand connectivity for new business start-ups is the Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity Program. This program is going to explore new and more innovative ways to get as many people connected as possible!
As per Facebook, they have been looking into expanding connectivity for a long time now. But the recent pandemic made them realize how crucial it is to provide reliable and highly affordable internet connectivity to people in this digital age and time. It is important for new businesses especially to have uninterrupted internet connectivity to maximize their chances of engagement and outreach, as well as provide them more chances to connect with potential partners and clients online.
Now, providing chances to people with more connectivity is not only going to benefit them, it will of course benefit the company too! So, it is going to be a win-win situation for everyone.
This is not the first time that Facebook has done something to improve connectivity amongst millions of people. Previously also, through its internet.org venture, Facebook helped more than 100 million people to have a chance to get internet and web access. And now, this latest connectivity program for new start-ups is going to further strengthen Facebook’s commitment to connect more and more people possible across various regions that do not have access to the internet even in this era.
Connecting the next billion users has long been one of Facebook’s key goals, both as means of facilitating economic opportunity and growing its presence. Through its internet.org initiative, The Social Network has already brought more than 100 million more people online who otherwise would not have access the web, and it continues to explore more innovative solutions like its Terragraph optimization framework and solar-powered internet drones.
It has, however, abandoned its Aquila drone project, which would have provided internet to remote regions by hovering on high above. But this latest round of start-ups may highlight new ways that Facebook can connect more people, and link the millions of regions that do not have internet access, facilitating more opportunity.
And if Facebook can get in on the ground floor, it can become an essential provider in these new places. And thus, the Zuckerberg Empire continues to expand.
The innovative startups that have been selected to participate in our inaugural connectivity cohort are:
BandwidthX provides cloud services to unlock existing mobile capacity in single operator networks and across multiple independent networks, saving costs and improving performance.
Bridgefy increases engagement and revenue for tech companies by making mobile apps accessible without the need for an internet connection.
Toolchain that enables telecom operators to build a multi-vendor HW/SW disaggregated, secure, cost-effective, reliable open RAN infrastructure.
Clear Blue Technologies
Clear Blue Technologies provides Smart Off-Grid power technology and Energy-as-a-Service for cost-efficient power that can be installed anywhere, managed over the internet, and deliver reliability and performance to help enable the world’s internet connectivity.
Connecting Company is bringing accessible and quality internet to rural communities through a self-sustaining system.
Crunch takes low resolution, distorted videos with missing frames, and converts them into a smooth, high definition video during playback.
A decision making platform for 5G capital planning.
Equal Access Santa Cruz
EASC’s goal is to bridge the digital divide and bring true high-speed broadband to every family in Santa Cruz County.
FreedomFi builds cost efficient cellular networks using open source software and commodity hardware.
Galgus’s mission is to unleash the full potential of Wi-Fi networks for optimization, management, analytics, and security.
(Private) 5G/LTE: Enabling reliable, interference-free 5G/LTE-mesh networking for operators and enterprises
Metawave is advancing automotive radar sensing and boosting 5G mm-wave coverage with its all-analog platforms.
Software platform to control, manage and automate disaggregated Wi-Fi networks compatible with Telecom Infra Project Open Wi-Fi architecture,
Netwey is a telecom operator addressing the digital divide through a model that focuses on availability and affordability.
Plexus Controls Inc.
Plexus Controls is a developer and manufacturer of wireless sensor systems, autonomous robotic and drone platforms.
Plumeria Networks Inc.
Plumeria Networks eliminates expenses for enterprise Wi-Fi by using software defined wireless and smart algorithms, on top of commoditization of the hardware, to reduce customer costs.
Delivering affordable mobile Internet thus eliminating digital literacy and helping mobile operators improve coverage, data rates, capacity and profitability primarily in emerging markets.
Robin’s cloud-native infrastructure and automation solutions enables mobile operators to transform their networks to support the next generation of services, including 5G.
Tanaza offers a flexible cloud-based platform to efficiently operate Wi-Fi networks and democratize connectivity.
Whitestack provides efficient connectivity and cloud infrastructure to operators around the world, leveraging open technologies.