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Google and Facebook boost APAC connectivity with subsea cable

7,485 miles of underwater internet cable will link Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore

Google has announced plans to lay thousands of miles of undersea internet cable that will connect six countries in East Asia. 

Project Apricot will link Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore with 7,456 miles of network cable, according to Google.

The tech giant said that 98% of international internet traffic is ferried around the world by subsea cables because the way we work, play and connect between friends and families has become increasingly digital. Social networking giant Facebook is also involved in the project, having partly funded the project.

Both companies have already laid substantial undersea infrastructure together with the latest investment going online in 2024. 

Facebook announced two transpacific subsea cables in March - Bifrost and Echo - that connect Singapore to the West Coast of the US. Google was involved in Echo, which is a complementary submarine system to its Apricot cable.

Apricot has an initial design capacity of more than 190 terabits per second, according to Facebook, and will improve the resilience of Google Cloud and the companies' other digital services. 

Both Google and Facebook see lots of growth potential for internet infrastructure in the Asian market, with Google announcing plans last year for a $10 billion digital transformation push into India.

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"Network investments like these have had a measurable impact on regional economic activity," Bikash Koley, head of Google Global Networking wrote in a blog post. "For example, Analysys Mason conducted a study of Google's APAC network infrastructure between 2010 and 2019, and found that network investments led to an extra $430 billion in aggregate GDP and 1.1 million additional jobs for the APAC region."

However, both Google and Facebook have scrapped numerous projects over the past year linking the US with Hong Kong, due to political pressure in response to Chinese security concerns. 

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