Facebook, Google Building Undersea Cable Connecting Asia-Pacific Region

From PC Mag: Facebook and Google this week unveiled a new subsea cable that will connect Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Expected to launch in 2024, the submarine system (still subject to regulatory approvals) aims to "deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability to expand connections in the Asia-Pacific region," according to Nico Roehrich, manager of network investments for Facebook Engineering.

The 12,000-kilometer (7,456-mile) cable will support existing systems like the recently announced Echo submarine system—another joint project by Google and Facebook. Echo, one of the first transpacific cables to use a "new diverse route" across the Java Sea, will connect Singapore, Guam, Indonesia, and North America. It is set for completion in 2023 and involves Indonesian telecommunications provider XL Axiata.

A second cable, dubbed Bifrost, will also provide new connections and help bring more people online via broadband. Data travels through the cable's optical fibers as pulses of light, amplified with a high-voltage electrical current supplied at landing stations in each country, helping meet growing demand for 4G, 5G, and broadband access in the region.

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