Facebook and Google plan to establish new submarine connections to promote connectivity in Asia


Telecom update

Facebook and Google are planning a new submarine cable to connect Japan with Southeast Asia, as the Silicon Valley Group has increased its investment in Internet infrastructure in areas with high growth potential.

The Apricot cable is expected to open in 2024, with a total length of 12,000 kilometers, connecting Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.

The undisclosed scale of this investment is part of American technology companies’ efforts to meet the growing demand for broadband access and 5G wireless connections in Asia.

Apricot will complement the two other submarine cables announced by Facebook in March, Echo and Bifrost, Which will connect the United States and Indonesia through Singapore. The American social media group said on Monday that the link will provide “urgently needed Internet capacity, redundancy and reliability to expand connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.”

There are about 400 submarine cables in the world, which carry almost all voice and Internet connections between countries. In the past decade, technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon have become major investors in the infrastructure sector, especially with the increase in Internet usage in emerging countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Deloitte partner Robert Hillard said: “Tech companies are investing in cables and even satellites to make it easier to use their services and expand their coverage.” “If your search engine, cloud service or even connected cars The restriction is to access enough data, then you are worth the time to help more of these projects.”

Asia is one of the biggest sources of growth for companies such as Facebook, which rely on users in countries such as Indonesia to drive growth because it is declining in mature Western markets.

But given the tension between the United States and China, submarine cables have become a fierce geopolitical issue for technology companies. These links improve access to online information in the region and are a form of US soft power, which has expressed concerns about China’s role in handling Internet traffic.

Pacific Cable NetworkThe 2020 project funded by Facebook and Google was shelved in the United States after warning the project for security reasons. This 13,000-kilometer line is designed to connect Hong Kong and several Asian countries with the United States, but Washington opposes the Hong Kong line because it may expose global data to China.

Last week, after China Mobile, one of China’s largest telecommunications groups, agreed to withdraw from the project, Amazon and Facebook asked the US government to approve the operation of a new submarine data cable between the Philippines and California.

Facebook said that restructuring ownership is the “best way forward” to complete the construction.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission rejected China Mobile’s efforts to provide telecommunications services in the United States in 2019 on the grounds of national security issues.


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