Facebook Inc. said it would start an underwater cable project known as “Apricot”, scheduled to go online by 2024. The company announced its cable project in collaboration with Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Apart from the two Big Tech companies, the project includes some regional telecom providers as well.
The project aims to improve internet connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region and give these giants control over the global internet infrastructure that most companies depend on.
The cable measures to be 7456-mile long. It envisions connecting six Asian countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. It will provide a configuration that offers flexibility and branch capacity. The cables will support data transfer speeds of about 190 terabits per second.
Facebook and Google have both already laid thousands of miles of undersea internet cable together and are in the process of laying thousands of miles more.
Facebook also intends to initiate another undersea cable project, including two Trans-Pacific cables, Echo and Bifrost, connecting Singapore to North America. It will increase the traffic by 70 percent, the company stated. These projects collectively will have an abundant supply of 4G and 5G services in the Asia region. Facebook has partnered with Google for the Echo cable and has excluded Bifrost.
In 1858, the foundation of the first undersea cable was laid. It sent telegraphic messages and required help from US and UK governments. However, now the job of laying cables has been taken away by private companies. For example, Google has a massive network of undersea cables that helps in keeping its Cloud services accessible worldwide.
Recently Facebook has announced another undersea cable project aimed at improving connectivity in Africa. After COVID-19, these undersea cable projects are rapidly growing, and Facebook and Google handle about 80 percent of such projects.
Nearly 98% of global internet traffic is running through undersea cables. As more businesses are moving online, the demand for faster and reliable internet is soaring high. The upcoming projects are anticipated to meet these demands worldwide.