Facebook and Google are planning to improve global internet connection capacity by placing a pair of undersea cables between Southeast Asia and America.
Specifically, the cables will run from North America to Singapore and Indonesia. Notably, these will be the first cables to run from America to the main parts of Indonesia.
The cables’ purpose is to boost internet connection capacity, a long-running goal of these companies. According to Reuters, much of Indonesia has poor access to the Internet – or no access at all.
“[These] 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%,” explained Facebook vice president of network investments, Kevin Salvadori.
The first cable, called ‘Echo’, is expected to launch by 2023. It is being worked on through a partnership between Facebook, Google, and an Indonesian telecommunications company called XL Alxatia.
The second cable, called ‘Bifrost’, is expected to launch by 2024. It is being worked on through a partnership between an Indonesian company called Telin and a Singaporean company called Keppel.
“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,” said Salvadori.
Recently, Facebook axed its plans to connect a similar cable between California and Hong Kong. Facebook cited “ongoing concerns from the US government about direct communication links between the United States and Hong Kong” for its decision to cancel the cable.