Facebook and Google to connect US and Southeast Asia with undersea cables

Facebook is planning to connect Singapore, Indonesia, and the US via two undersea cables, in a project with Google and several telecommunications companies.

The move, first revealed by Reuters, aims to help improve internet connection capability between North America and Southeast Asia.

“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 per cent,” Kevin Salvadori, Facebook vice president of network investments, told Reuters on Monday.

Salvadori did not specific the size of the investment, but told the news agency it was a “very material investment for us in Southeast Asia.”

The cables will be the first to directly connect the US to key regions of Indonesia, he said.

According to the Facebook executive, one of the cables called “Echo” is being developed with Google and XL Axiata, an Indonesian telecommunications company, and will be completed by 2023.

While ‘Bifrost’, is being built in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Telkom, alongside Singaporean company Keppel, and will be completed a year later.

According to Reuters the two cables, which will need regulatory approval, follow past investments by the social media platform to boost internet connectivity in Indonesia, a region in the company's top five markets globally.

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