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Facebook and Google to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America with new submarine cables
Facebook announced plans to lay two new submarine cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America. The project to increase the bandwidth of the Internet connection will be implemented in cooperation with Google and local telecommunications companies.
“Called Echo and Bifrost, these will be the first two cables to take the new route across the Java Sea and will increase total trans-Pacific submarine capacity by about 70%,” Facebook VP Kevin Salvadori said. He did not disclose the size of the investment, but noted that this is a «very significant investment» for Facebook in Southeast Asia. It was also said that the new cables will directly connect North America with some of the main parts of Indonesia, as well as improve communication between the central and eastern provinces of the fourth most populous country in the world.
Echo is reportedly in partnership with Google and Indonesian telecom XL Axiata. It is expected to be completed by 2023. As for the Bifrost project, in addition to Facebook, Telin, a subsidiary of the Indonesian Telkom, and the Singapore-based conglomerate Keppel are involved. This project should be completed by 2024.
The two new cables, which will require regulatory approval, are in line with Facebook’s previous investment in Indonesia, one of the world’s five largest markets. According to the Indonesian Association of Internet Service Providers, about 73% of the country’s 270 million people used the Internet in 2021. However, most of them use mobile Internet, while only 10% of Indonesians use broadband services.