Facebook has invested in a 6,214-mile Asian undersea cable, that will give better Internet connectivity to several countries, the BBC reports. The Asia Pacific Gateway cable will run directly from Malaysia to South Korea and Japan, with links that branch off to other countries like China and Vietnam.
The AGP cable project (above) will cost a consortium of companies including Facebook at least $450 million. Facebook’s exact share of that amount has not been revealed. The Register says the 3.4 Tbps that Time dotCom’s $US45 million investment in the cable would suggest that Facebook intends to end up with lots of pan-Asian capacity. The project is funded by a group that includes two large Chinese internet service providers, China Telecom and China Unicom.
The Asia Pacific Gateway cable system will be one of the most important next generation submarine cable systems in Asia. The other recent additions include the Asia Submarine-cable Express (above) and the South-East Asia Japan Cable (below), which both finished construction in 2011.
The Asia Pacific Gateway is expected to be finished in the third quarter of 2014. The investment could potentially help Facebook draw more users in South Asia, especially in places like Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Google invested in the Unity transpacific cable in 2008. That 10,000 kilometer (km) Trans-Pacific cable connects Tokyo to Los Angeles, with other West Coast points of presence. Unity landed its trans-Pacific cable in Japan in 2009. The Unity cable system adds up to 4.8 Tbps of bandwidth across the Pacific with construction cost at approximately $300 million.
According to TeleGeography’s latest “Global Bandwidth Forecast”, trans-Pacific bandwidth demand has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.8 percent between 2002 and 2008, with an estimated tenfold increase from 2008 to 2013.