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29 Mar 2021 | 09:49

Facebook, Google plan to connect Southeast Asia and America with undersea cables

(Sharecast News) - Facebook announced on Monday it was partnering with Google and regional telecommunication companies to build two undersea cables connecting Singapore and Indonesia with North America. "Named Echo and Bifrost, those will be the first two cables to go through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea and they will increase overall subsea capacity in the trans-pacific by about 70%," Facebook Vice President of Network Investments, Kevin Salvadori, told Reuters.

The cables, which are the first to connect America with some parts of Southeast Asia, will significantly increase connectivity for Indonesia.

The plans still need regulatory approval but t is expected that "Echo" will be completed by 2023 and "Bifrost" in 2024.

Facebook is also currently working on its broader subsea plans in Asia which includes the Pacific Light Cable Network.

Funded by Facebook and Alphabet, the 12,800km PLCN met regulatory resistance over its plans for a Hong Kong conduit. It has since dropped the efforts to connect Hong Kong and California due to political tensions between Washington and Hong Kong.

"We are working with partners and regulators to meet all of the concerns that people have, and we look forward to that cable being a valuable, productive transpacific cable going forward in the near future," Salvadori told Reuters.
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