Facebook and Google announce submarine cables to link Asia and North America

    In addition to these submarine cables that will connect both continents, Facebook and Google plan to build another 37,000 kilometers long around Africa and another between Europe and the African continent.

    After canceling plans for undersea cables connecting the United States to Hong Kong due to pressure from the US government, Facebook and Google have now announced that they will run two similar projects from Singapore and Indonesia.

    “Called Echo and Bifrost, these will be the first two cables to traverse a new route across the Java Sea, and will increase overall subsea capacity in the trans-Pacific by approximately 70%,” said Facebook’s VP of Network Investments, Kevin Salvadori, to the Reuters news agency.

    Salvadori declined to comment on the cost of the project. He said that the Echo cable, which is being built in partnership with Google and the Indonesian telecommunications company XL, will be completed in 2023.

    The Bifrost project, which is being done in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Telkom from Indonesia, and Keppel Corporation from Singapore, should be completed by 2024, he said.

    Both projects will need regulatory approval.

    Most Indonesians who have internet access get it through mobile phones, Reuters reported, adding that only 10% have broadband access. Many have no access at all.

    Facebook said plans for the cable to Hong Kong were scrapped because the US government cited national security concerns about direct communication links to Hong Kong.

    Facebook and Google are involved in other cable projects around the world.

    Facebook announced last May that it was building a 37,000-kilometer-long submarine cable around Africa.

    Google’s project, the Equiano submarine cable, could connect Europe and Africa when completed.

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