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Facebook and the Connectivity Challenge

Event Type
CSL/SINE Special Seminar
301 CSL
Apr 26, 2019   2:00 - 3:00 pm  
Julius Kusuma, Facebook Connectivity Lab
Brenda Roy


About half of the world’s population does not have access to the internet. Facebook Connectivity wants to connect the unconnected by breaking some barriers and creating a new set of technologies. The Connectivity team at Facebook explores new communication models and technologies in multiple domains, including lasers, terrestrial links, wireless networks and high-altitude platforms.

In this talk I will introduce Facebook Connectivity. I will give an overview of Connectivity challenges around the world, opportunities in urban and rural areas, and showcase several of our existing initiatives:

  • Express WiFi: Building a Connectivity ecosystem and empowering entrepreneurs.
  • WiFi mesh: Extending the reach of Connectivity through local partnerships.
  • TerraGraph: Millimeter-wave 60 GHz mesh backhaul for fiber-like quality of service.
  • Analytics: Understanding the challenges of Connectivity using computer vision and data analytics.


Our team of experts aim to overcome technical challenges, invent new solutions and drastically change the economics of deploying wide-scale internet infrastructure. We work with researchers at universities such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, government labs, and industry to quickly advance these new technologies to become viable solutions for operators and other partners to deploy.




Julius Kusuma is a research scientist in the Facebook Connectivity Lab, which works to create and apply technologies to optimize connectivity in developing countries and regions. His primary focus is on advanced propagation models, channel and econometric modeling, and AI tools to analyze rural connectivity challenges and optimize wireless and network deployments.  Previously he was principal scientist and program manager at Schlumberger Research, where his specialization was on communication and sensing technologies for subsurface and subsea systems in the oil and gas industry. He worked on digital communication systems for drilling, wireline, and reservoir characterization, using electromagnetics, acoustics, and wireline. He and his team were the first to demonstrate real-time wireless video at 1km over a subsea channel, using acoustic telemetry. He received his doctorate from MIT in 2006, where he was an MIT Presidential Fellow, and also attended UC Berkeley and Purdue University.

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