Facebook has invested in two new transpacific subsea cables that will connect North America with Indonesia and Singapore, both taking a new route across the Java Sea.
The Echo cable is being built in partnership with Google and XL Axiata and due to be completed by 2023. Bifrost is being built in partnership with PT Telkom Indonesia subsidiary Telin and Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Limited (Keppel T&T) – which lists Keppel Data Centres as a subsidiary. The latter is due to be completed by 2024.
Performance details were not announced, but a press release by Keppel, Facebook, and Telin claimed that Bifrost Cable System will be the largest capacity high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean when commissioned. Facebook says both cables will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 percent.
“Building on our previously announced Singapore data center investments, Echo and Bifrost will provide important diverse subsea capacity to power Singapore’s digital growth and connectivity hub. We are excited to build on our other projects that connect to Singapore, including APG and SJC-2. Singapore is also home to many of our regional teams,” wrote Kevin Salvadori and Nico Roehrich from Facebook’s Network Investments team in a joint blog post.
Facebook’s stake in Echo and Bifrost will give it an inroad into Indonesia through its two largest cellular operators. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, with a burgeoning Internet economy that continued to grow at double-digit rates despite the ongoing pandemic, according to report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co.
Facebook is currently building a mammoth $1 billion, 11-story data center at Tanjong Kling in Singapore that is set to be the tallest in Southeast Asia when it commences operation in 2022, using up to 150MW of power when fully operational.