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Facebook and Google plan new submarine cables to connect Southeast Asia and North America

Cabos will be the first to directly connect North America to some of the main parts of Indonesia, according to a Facebook executive.

Facebook said on Monday (29) that it plans two new submarine cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America, in a project that involves Google and regional telecommunications companies and seeks to increase internet connection capacity between regions .

“Called Echo and Bifrost, these will be the first two cables to go through a new diversified route across the Java Sea and will increase the overall subsea capacity in the transpacific by about 70%,” said the vice president of Network Investments at Facebook, Kevin Salvadori, told Reuters.

He declined to specify the size of the investment, but said it was “a very significant investment for us in Southeast Asia”.

The cables, according to the executive, will be the first to directly connect North America to some of the main parts of Indonesia and will increase connectivity to the central and eastern provinces of the fourth most populous country in the world.

Salvadori said “Echo” is being built in partnership with Alphabet’s Google and Indonesian telecommunications company XL Axiata. It is expected to be completed by 2023.

Bifrost, which is being done in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Telkom, Indonesia, and Singapore’s Keppel conglomerate, is expected to be completed by 2024.

The two cables, which will need regulatory approval, follow Facebook’s previous investments to build connectivity in Indonesia, one of its top five markets globally.

In addition to Southeast Asia cables, Facebook continues with its broader submarine plans in Asia and globally, including the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), said Salvadori.

“We are working with partners and regulators to address all people’s concerns and we hope that this cable will be a valuable and productive transpacific cable in the near future,” he said.


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