Facebook is planning a 275 mile high-capacity fiber cable which will connect data centers in Ashburn, Virginia, and Columbus, Ohio.
The 600-mile long-haul fiber route was announced on Monday morning by Facebook officials, alongside West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Governor Jim Justice.
Governor Justice said: “We have truly, truly done something here that’s going to give our citizens what we need so badly — connectivity, connectivity to the world.”
Construction begins later this year through Middle Mile Infrastructure – a Facebook subsidiary – and the route is expected to take about two years to finish.
Kevin Salvadori, director of network investments for Facebook, said that in addition to improving Facebook’s own network, the new fiber route would help local communities by providing opportunities for broadband access that have not been available before.
Senator Capito said: “What this helps us do today is to go to our communities, to go to our internet service providers, our municipalities, whoever wants to expand broadband in their area where we don’t have it to say, ‘Look, we’re going to have a major line coming through here.’”
Facebook has not revealed how much the project will cost.
In 2017, Facebook deployed high-capacity fiber for its data center campus in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Details on the cable are few and far between, but the social network said at the time that it would become “one of the highest-capacity systems in the US.”
The first phase of the Los Lunas data center is expected to cost $250 million, and the company has plans for up to five more.