Google, Facebook join forces on new submarine internet cable

Undersea Cable
(Image credit: Shuterstock / Christoph Burgstedt)

Google and Facebook have announced they will work together on a new undersea internet cable, with the goal of boosting network resilience and capacity in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Once complete, the 12,000km Apricot cable will dock in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, and will go some way to satisfying the rising demand for data in the area.

The two companies say the new submarine web cable will be ready for action by 2024, with an initial capacity of circa 190 Tb/second, shy of the current record (held by Google’s Dunant cable at 250 Tb/second).

Undersea web cables

According to a Google blog post, Apricot will reinforce the positive effects of its Echo cable system, which will eventually connect the US, Singapore, Guam and Indonesia.

“The Echo and Apricot cables are complementary submarine systems that will offer benefits with multiple paths in and out of Asia, including unique routes through southern Asia, ensuring a significantly higher degree of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services,” the company explained.

Google says the new cable systems will be a boon for businesses on both sides of the Pacific, providing lower latency and more bandwidth along routes between Asia and the US. Citing research into the effects of network investments between 2010 and 2019, the company says the new cables are also likely to lead to a boost in APAC jobs and GDP.

Apricot is the latest in a series of new submarine cables recently unveiled by Google; others include Firmina, Dunant, Blue and Raman. In total, the company now holds a share in nineteen different cable networks.

Google has also previously collaborated with Facebook on submarine cable systems. Most famously, the pair worked together on the Pacific Light Cable Network, although the system later had to be scaled back as a result of tensions between the US and China.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.