Facebook announced on Sunday (March 28th) investments in two vital new subsea cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia, and the United States, i.e., Echo subsea cable system and Bifrost cable system. These two cable systems will be the first transpacific cables through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea and will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 percent.

Facebook invests in Echo and Bifrost cable systems
Facebook invests in Echo and Bifrost cable systems, Source: Facebook


Facebook experts said in a post: We are committed to bringing more people online to a faster internet. As part of this effort, we’re proud to announce that we have partnered with leading regional and global partners to build two new subsea cables — Echo and Bifrost — that will provide vital new connections between the Asia-Pacific region and North America. While these projects are still subject to regulatory approvals, when completed, these cables will deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability. 

According to Facebook, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for reliable internet access. The internet has enabled people around the world to remain connected while apart, continue their education, take care of their health, and be productively employed. In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, the demand for 4G, 5G, and broadband access is rapidly increasing. Echo and Bifrost will support further growth for hundreds of millions of people and millions of businesses. Facebook believes that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for people and businesses.

Not only will Echo and Bifrost be the first transpacific cables through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea, but they also will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 percent.  Connecting Singapore, Indonesia, and North America, these cable investments reflect our commitment to openness and our innovative partnership model, in which Facebook works with a variety of leading Indonesian and global partners to ensure that everyone benefits from developing scale infrastructure and shared technology expertise. 

In the Echo cable project, Facebook works with Google again on subsea cable investment. Facebook and Google worked jointly to build the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), back to 2016. 

While the Bifrost consortium comprises Facebook, PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), and Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Limited (Keppel T&T).

Echo and Bifrost will create new and diverse trans-pacific subsea cable routes, provide important diverse subsea capacity to power Singapore’s digital growth and connectivity hub. Visit here for a complete list of international subsea cables connecting Singapore.

Echo and Bifrost will benefit Indonesia as well, adding to its existing trans-pacific subsea cable connecting Indonesia, the Philippines and Guam, Hawaii and Los Angeles of the United States, the SEA-US cable system, which was ready for service in 2017.