Facebook announced that it plans to build two new undersea cables connecting Singapore, Indonesia, and North America. The social media company will work with Google and regional telcos on the project, which is set to dramatically increase internet connection capacity between these regions.
One of them is called Echo which is slated to complete by 2023. According to the report from Reuters, Kevin Salvadori, Facebook’s Vice President of Network Investments stated that Echo would be built in partnership with Google and Indonesian telco XL Axiata who is a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Axiata Group that also owns and operates Celcom.
The other transpacific undersea cable is called the Bifrost which is expected to complete by 2024. While Facebook is partnering with Telin, a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia, and Singapore’s Keppel to make this happen, the actual installation will be done by Alcatel Submarine Networks.
“Not only will Echo and Bifrost be the first transpacific cables through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea, but they also will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 per cent,” Facebook said in an online post.
This is not the first time that Facebook and Google have collaborated together to build an undersea cable system. Before this, they have worked on the Pacific Light Cable Network since 2016 that supposedly links the Phillippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the U.S but have decided to drop the Hong Kong portion from the original plan after it was opposed by the U.S government due to security concerns.