Facebook wants to attract more users in Asia and to reach that goal the company is spending $450 million to develop a 6,124-mile-long fiber-optic cable that will run from Malaysia to South Korea and Japan.
Known as the Asia-Pacific Gateway the cable is being developed to reduce the countries’ reliance on Singapore who’s internet backbone often leads to slow speeds and intermittent connectivity issues.
The cable will not only provide increased connectivity, it will speed up data connectivity to North America which in turn should help Facebook gather a bigger following.
One tech analyst tells the BBC:
“India and the Philippines are both really heavy users of Facebook, and connectivity is patchy in and out of the countries.”
While Facebook growth in the United States has continued to slow the social network has witnessed tremendous growth in Asia, including Japan where the user base has more than doubled in just one year.
By increasing speeds Facebook hopes to overtake local social networks that have had better connectivity through their use of local internet company’s.
According to a Facebook spokesman:
“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.”
Facebook is not creating the underwater fiber optic bridge on its own, other investors in the APG include China Unicom and China Telecom. How much of the $450 million each company has invested is not known as this time.