IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Facebook and Google plan new undersea cable to Asia

The proposed cable would connect North America, Indonesia, and Singapore

Ethernet cable with lights shooting from the end

Facebook is partnering with Google in planning two new undersea cables to connect North America, Indonesia, and Singapore.

The move comes just weeks after Facebook scrapped plans for an underwater data cable between California and Hong Kong because the US government feared China could have used the cable to steal data. Facebook is confident it will win approval for the project this time around.

“We are working with partners and regulators to meet all of the concerns that people have, and we look forward to that cable being a valuable, productive transpacific cable going forward in the near future,” Facebook’s vice president of network investments, Kevin Salvadori, told Reuters.

Underwater cables carry most of the world’s data and are a vital part of global communications. Groups of communications firms typically build these cables and then charge other companies to use them.

Facebook is partnering with Google and regional telecommunication companies on these two proposed cables as part of an ongoing effort to boost internet connection capacity between the regions. The cables will still need regulatory approval before the project goes forward.

The new undersea cables, named Echo and Bifrost, are the first to follow a new route crossing the Java Sea, the company said. Facebook predicted the cables would increase overall subsea data capacity across the Pacific by about 70%.

This new development comes shortly after Facebook canceled plans to install an 8,000-mile-long fiber-optic cable running along the ocean floor to connect Hong Kong and Taiwan with two California sites. 

Facebook killed the project because of pressure from US national security officials who raised concerns that an undersea cable to Hong Kong would be vulnerable to Chinese espionage.

That was only the latest cross-Pacific undersea data cable to stall because of US government resistance. 

In September, developers canceled plans for a separate underwater cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong because the US government believed the Hong Kong operators had a relationship with Chinese intelligence and security services. 

A third undersea cable between the U.S. and Hong Kong was also canceled last year when Facebook withdrew its proposal to lay a cable between Hong Kong and San Francisco. 

All these plans were killed after the US Department of Justice warned the FCC against direct links between the US and Hong Kong because of Chinese crackdowns in the region.

Featured Resources

AI for customer service

IBM Watson Assistant solves customer problems the first time

View now

Solve cyber resilience challenges with storage solutions

Fundamental capabilities of cyber-resilient IT infrastructure

Free Download

IBM FlashSystem 5000 and 5200 for mid-market enterprises

Manage rapid data growth within limited IT budgets

Free download

Leverage automated APM to accelerate CI/CD and boost application performance

Constant change to meet fast-evolving application functionality

Free Download

Recommended

Google Cloud Platform now automatically detects highly common ransomware dropper
Cloud

Google Cloud Platform now automatically detects highly common ransomware dropper

21 Nov 2022
Google agrees record $391.5m settlement in US digital tracking case
privacy

Google agrees record $391.5m settlement in US digital tracking case

15 Nov 2022
Biden sets June deadline for $42 billion broadband funding outline
Network & Internet

Biden sets June deadline for $42 billion broadband funding outline

11 Nov 2022
Meta cuts 11,000 staff, citing wrong call on investment
Careers & training

Meta cuts 11,000 staff, citing wrong call on investment

10 Nov 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

15 Nov 2022
The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

14 Nov 2022
Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively
Microsoft Windows

Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively

24 Nov 2022