Facebook and Google are planning to build new subsea cables from the US to Singapore and Indonesia.

Facebook said it has 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 Google is only investing in Echo, Facebook is investing in both cables.

These cables will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 per cent, Facebook said this week, adding that the social networking platform is “committed to bringing more people online to a faster Internet.”

While these projects are still subject to regulatory approvals, when completed, these cables are expected deliver much-needed Internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability.

The announcements come at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for reliable Internet access.

Echo and Bifrost will support further growth for hundreds of millions of people and millions of businesses, Facebook said.

“Echo will run from Eureka, California to Singapore, with a stop-over in Guam, with plans to also land in Indonesia. Additional landings are possible in the future,” Bikash Koley, Vice President of Global Networking, Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

“Echo will be the first-ever cable to directly connect the U.S. to Singapore with direct fiber pairs over an express route. It will decrease latency for users connecting to applications running the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) regions in the area, home to some of the world’s most vibrant financial and technology centres.”