Facebook has said that its efforts to get more people connected to the internet is set to generate more than $200 billion USD in economic growth over the next five years in regions that it’s trying to get online. The firm commissioned three reports to find the effects of the investments it has made in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Latin America.
The ASEAN region is set to see the most economic benefits in the coming five years according to Analysys Mason. The analyst said that the region will see economic benefits of $70 billion USD. The analyst firm also looked at Facebook’s impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and found that economic benefits would be over $57 billion USD.
To look at the benefits in Latin America, Facebook turned to NERA Economic Consulting; this firm said that Facebook’s investments on the continent will generate an average of $27 billion USD per year and create 178,000 new jobs in the region. In all regions, the economic value is largely generated through Facebook’s investments in submarine cables, edge networks, and Open Transport Networks. These investments allow network operators to extend coverage, improve performance, and reduce costs.
With Facebook extending connectivity, SpaceX launching Starlink, and the UK government recently buying OneWeb we could see a good proportion of the 3.5 billion people that are currently offline get connected to the internet. Once connected, these people will be able to improve their education with online resources, find new types of online employment, become customers of businesses that operate online, and much more.