Google and Facebook reveal Asia underwater data cable plan to connect Japan, Guam, and more

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Google and Facebook on Monday revealed plans for a new underwater internet cable connecting Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia.

Named Apricot, the cable project would be approximately 12,000 km (nearly 7,500 miles) in length and be operational in 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, the companies said in separate statements.

Announced by US firms and regional and global partners, the project “will provide much-needed Internet capacity, redundancy and reliability to expand connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Nico Roehrich, engineering manager at Facebook.

“The Apricot cable is part of our ongoing efforts to expand the global network infrastructure and better serve the more than 3.5 billion people worldwide who use our services every month,” added Roehrich.

Earlier this year, the companies announced another cable project called Echo, which will connect the United States, Singapore, Guam and Indonesia.

“The Echo and Apricot cables are complementary submarine systems that provide multi-path benefits in and out of Asia, including unique routes through South Asia that provide significantly higher levels of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services,” said Google Cloud Vice President Bikash Koley.

“Together, they will provide companies and startups in Asia with lower latency, more bandwidth and increased resilience in their connectivity between Southeast Asia, North Asia and the US,” added Koley.

Due to tensions between the US and China, Google and Facebook stopped efforts this year to develop a planned submarine cable to connect California and Hong Kong.

Last year, the US Department of Justice recommended bypassing the Hong Kong cable proposed by Google and Facebook.

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