Facebook Sinks Millions Into Underwater Internet Cable

With US market saturated, Facebook looks to Asia for growth
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 5:58 AM CDT
A fiber-optic cable, suspended from buoys, being rolled out off the Venezuelan coast. Now Facebook is investing in a similar cable connecting Malaysia to South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

(Newser) – Call it Bandwidth of Dreams. Banking that if they build it, users will come, Facebook is investing in a 6,214-mile-long fiber-optic cable running from Malaysia to South Korea and Japan, reports the BBC. The $450 million Asia Pacific Gateway cable is designed to reduce the countries' reliance on Singapore as an Internet hub and increase connectivity speeds to North America. "India and the Philippines are both really heavy users of Facebook, and connectivity is patchy in and out of the countries," said one tech analyst.

Facebook growth may have screeched to a halt in the United States, but that's far from the case in Asia, where countries like Japan are seeing users double in the course of a year and where speedier domestic social networks still rule. "Our investment in this cable will help support our growth in South Asia, making it possible for us to provide a better user experience for a greater number of Facebook users in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore," said a Facebook spokesman. Other investors in the APG include two of the largest telecoms in China, China Unicom and China Telecom; it's unclear how much Facebook forked over. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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