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

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Facebook today announced that it is planning two new submarine cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America as part of a joint project involving Google and regional telecoms. The new cables are designed to increase the bandwidth of the Internet connection between regions.

“Called Echo and Bifrost, these will be the first two cables to take the new route across the Java Sea and will increase the total trans-Pacific submarine capacity by about 70%,” Facebook VP of Network Investments Kevin quoted Reuters as saying. Salvadori (Kevin Salvadori).

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

The cables, he said, will be the first to directly connect North America to some of the main parts of Indonesia, as well as improve connectivity in the central and eastern provinces of the country’s fourth most populous country in the world.

Salvadori said the Echo project is being implemented in partnership with Google and Indonesian telecommunications company XL Axiata. It should be completed by 2023.

The Bifrost project is being carried out in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesian Telkom, and Singapore-based conglomerate Keppel. It should be completed by 2024.

The source adds that earlier this month Facebook said it would stop trying to cable California and Hong Kong due to “US government concerns about direct links between the United States and Hong Kong.”

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