A billion new internet users. Between 2018 and 2023, Cisco
The first cable, dubbed Echo, is expected to be laid by 2023. Echo will be headed up by Google and other local partners and provide the first direct fiber optic link between Singapore and the U.S. mainland when it's completed. Along with Singaporean conglomerate Keppel
Bifrost will mesh well with Facebook's other network investments in the two island nations. By 2022 Facebook plans to open its first-ever Asian data center in Singapore. When completed, the 170,000 square meter facility will be a contender for the world's largest data center under one roof, according to Facebook. And just last year, Facebook set out with local partners to deploy 3,000 km of fiber optic cables in Indonesia to support its budding network of wi-fi hotspots.
Facebook's particular focus on Indonesia makes sense, given that the country has the third-largest number of active Facebook users in the world, according to Statista. And while 73% of the country has internet access, less than 10% have access to a stable broadband connection, according to a recent survey by the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association.
According to Analysys Mason, Facebook's existing network investments in Indonesia have already improved broadband access for 10-15 million individuals on the island nation. No doubt those statistics will improve once Bifrost and Echo come online.
If they come online. Because both Bifrost and Echo still need regulatory approval. Such approval could be difficult to come by, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the past six months alone, Facebook has had to shelve plans for three proposed cables that would directly link the U.S. and Hong Kong over security concerns. Both Facebook and Google recently rerouted their proposed 12,800 km Pacific Light Cable Network to avoid Hong Kong.
Regulatory hurdles aside, Facebook's connectivity initiatives alone could generate $70 billion in economic growth in Asia, according to Analysys Mason.
- 10. https://www.siliconrepublic.com/comms/google-facebook-subsea-cable-us-china