Google and Facebook work on a submarine data cable that will link the Asia-Pacific connection

Google and Facebook are working together with five Asian countries to place a submarine data cable that will improve connectivity in the region.

Google and Facebook announced on Monday their plans to deploy a new submarine internet cable connecting Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The project, dubbed Apricot, envisages a cable of about 12,000 kilometers that would be operational by 2024, subject to approval by regulatory authorities, both companies said in separate statements.

The project announced by US companies and both regional and global partners “will bring the Internet capability, repeatability, and reliability essential to expanding connections in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Facebook engineering manager Nico Roehrich.

Submarine cable: a project for half the world

“Apricot cable is part of our ongoing effort to expand the global network infrastructure and better serve the more than 3.5 billion people around the world who use our services each month,” added Roehrich.

Earlier this year, the companies announced another cable project called Echo that connects the United States, Singapore, Guam, and Indonesia.

The cloud-powered by submarine cables

“The Echo and Apricot cables are complementary subsea systems that will deliver benefits with multiple routes in and out of Asia, including single routes through South Asia, ensuring a significantly higher degree of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services,” said Google Cloud Vice President Bikash Koley.

Google and Facebook this year suspended progress on a submarine cable project that would have connected California and Hong Kong due to tensions between the United States and China. The US Department of Justice recommended in 2020 that the cable proposed by Google and Facebook avoid Hong Kong.