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Facebook, Google plan new undersea cables to connect Southeast Asia and America

Christian Fernsby |
Facebook said on Monday it planned two new undersea cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America.

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"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%," Facebook Vice President of Network Investments, Kevin Salvadori, told Reuters.

He declined to specify the size of the investment, but said it was "a very material investment for us in Southeast Asia."

The cables, according to the executive, will be the first to directly connect North America to some of the main parts of Indonesia, and will increase connectivity for the central and eastern provinces of the world's fourth most populous country.

Salvadori said "Echo" is being built in partnership with Alphabet's Google and Indonesian telecommunications' company XL Axiata and should be completed by 2023.

Bifrost, which is being done in partnership with Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesia's Telkom, and Singaporean conglomerate Keppel is due to be completed by 2024.

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