Facebook-Google’s ‘new’ plan

The US technology giant Facebook and Google’s plan to connect the United States and Hong Kong by laying cables under the sea has been scrapped due to pressure from the US government. However, Facebook and Google have announced to install similar cables in Singapore and Indonesia. It is learned that the Echo and Bifrost cables will be the first two cables that will cross the Java Sea on a new route. These are expected to increase the overall Trans-Pacific networking capacity by 60 percent.

Kevin Salvadori, vice president of network investment at Facebook, told Reuters. However, he declined to comment on the cost of the project. Kevin Salvadori said the eco-cable, which is under construction in partnership with Google and Indonesian telecommunications company XL, will be completed by 2023.  On the other hand, the Bifrost, a partnership between Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesian Telecom, and Kepel Corporation of Singapore, is expected to be completed by 2024.

Citing Facebook, US media outlet Voice of America reported that plans for Hong Kong’s cable have been scrapped. This is because the US government has raised concerns about national security in terms of direct contact with Hong Kong. Earlier, in May last year, Facebook announced that work was underway to build a 36,000-kilometer-long underwater cable across Africa.