According to multiple sources including Islands Business of Fiji and mbj of Guam, the completion of the second subsea cable to Palau, i.e., the Palau Cable 2 (PC-2) or the Echo Palau Branch, will be delayed to Q1, 2025.

The Palau Cable 2 (PC-2), with a total length of approximately 110km, connects Palau to the trunk of the Echo subsea cable system. While the Echo cable system spans 16,000 kilometers linking the U.S. to Indonesia and Singapore via Guam and Palau, being built in partnership with Google, Meta and XL Axiata.

Echo & Palau Cable 2, Image courtesy: BSCC

 

The Palau Cable 2 is invested and owned by the National Submarine Cable Utility Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) of the Palau Republic, costs about US$30 million. Japan, the United States and Australia provide joint financing support for the Palau Cable 2 project, which marks the first project to be delivered under the Trilateral Partnership for Infrastructure Investment in the Indo-Pacific between the United States, Australia and Japan. The PC2 cable system is supplied by Japanese NEC, which also delivered the first subsea cable connecting Palau in 2017, i.e., the Palau Cable 1 (PC1).

BSCC landed the Palau Cable 2 in Ngardmau in June 2022.

BSCC officials said the delay to Palau is the due to delays in the trunk of the Echo cable system.

The Echo cable system has been delayed due to additional requirements such as a seagrass survey imposed by Singapore regulators.

Google was supposed to be the landing party in Singapore for the Echo cable system. According to the FCC public notice, Google through its subsidiary Google Singapore Pte Ltd acts as the landing party for Echo's Singapore landing.

In early 2024, Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) was back and became a stakeholder of the Echo cable system. In fact, TPN initiated in 2029 the Echo cable project, called TPN project then. Due to certain reasons, Google and Meta took over the TPN project to announce the build of the Echo cable system in March 2021, without naming TPN as a stakeholder.

Palau officials said the completion date of the spur connecting the Echo cable to Palau was delayed from end of 2024 to first quarter of 2025. The operational date of the spur has been scheduled for the first quarter of 2025 and there’s no word on whether that has been pushed back.

In addition to the delay on the Echo cable project, multiple subsea cable projects in the APAC region have been delayed. For example, the Bifrost project has been delayed due to bad weather and difficulties to get permits for the cable to land in Indonesia and pass Indonesian waters. And Telin didn't start building the cable landing station in Jakarta for the Bifrost cable system until early June, 2024. Schduled to launch in 2024, the Apricot project has been delayed without further information.