Facebook Is Building 2 New Undersea Cables Called Echo and Bitfrost

The cables will provide new connections between the Asia-Pacific region and North America.

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Senior Editor
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Facebook has announced it's building two new undersea cables crossing the Java Sea in a bid to increase transpacific capacity by 70%.

The new cables are called Echo and Bitfrost, and they are the first transpacific cables to use a "new diverse route" across the Java Sea, with the end result being direct connections between Singapore, Indonesia, and North America.

Photo: FacebookPhoto: Facebook

As Reuters reports, Facebook is working with a number of local and global partners to build and install the cables. Echo is set to be completed in 2023 and involves Google and Indonesian telecommunications provider XL Axiata. Bitfrost will be completed in 2024 and involves Singaporean conglomerate Keppel as well as Telin, a subsidiary of South African telecommunications provider Telkom.

Related: Facebook Will Crack Down on Groups That Break Its Rules Repeatedly

For Indonesia, the new cable should help to bring more people online using broadband connections rather than relying on mobile data. Facebook already partnered with local telecom network Alita last year to deploy over 3,000km of fiber in 20 cities spread across Bali, Java, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. For Singapore, the new cable serves two main purposes: it supports Singapore’s digital growth and connectivity hub, and benefits Facebook's $1 billion data centerin the region, which it announced back in 2018.

Last week, the UK Royal Navy announced it was building a ship to protect the internet. With the massive investment going into new undersea cables, combined with how vital the internet has become during the pandemic, it won't be surprising if we see other nations deciding to launch their own ships to keep these cables safe.

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