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Facebook is beefing up its wireless plans — it just hired the co-founder of Google Fiber

Kevin Lo will help Facebook wheel and deal in its efforts to bring more people online.


Facebook has brought in Kevin Lo, the former general manager for Google Fiber, to join its connectivity team focused on bringing internet access to more places around the globe.

Lo’s new title is Director of Infrastructure Connectivity and Investments, which we’re told is a fancy way of saying he’ll deal with many of Facebook’s external partnerships pertaining to its connectivity efforts. That means projects like the recent fiber-optic cable deal Facebook struck with Microsoft, or Terragraph, its plan to help bring better connectivity to densely populated urban areas.

Facebook is not, however, putting money into becoming an internet service provider — like Google Fiber, which has deployed considerable expenditures in its first six years. A spokesperson was very clear that Lo’s hire does not mean it wants to sell you internet or cable.

Another thing Lo will not work on: Free Basics, the company’s somewhat controversial app intended to bring certain internet services to emerging markets.

Lo joined Google in 2010 after a decade working in telecom and investing. He was hired as the first manager for Google Fiber, the search giant’s nascent experiment in broadband networks then under former CFO Patrick Pichette.

Lo ran the Google division for five years, leading operations for expansion in its initial three cities. Fiber had some early hiccups, but the unit has grown from a moonshot, held closely by the finance team, to a full-fledged business aiming to take on big cable incumbents. (More on that here.)

People who worked with Lo described him as a cool, competent manager — typical of the Fiber team, which has been devoid of some of the more outsized personalities at Google. He left last year, shortly before Google reorganized itself into Alphabet.

Here’s Facebook’s statement on Lo joining the company:

We're excited to have Kevin join Facebook. Kevin will help shape our strategy and broader framework for Facebook's infrastructure connectivity investments with partners. He will work alongside Facebook's infrastructure and connectivity teams to help build an active partner ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of new technologies that can drastically change the economics of deploying internet infrastructure.

Lo will report to Jason Taylor, Facebook’s VP for infrastructure.

Update: Here’s Lo’s Facebook post announcing the news.

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