The Internet has been said to be just one big series of tubes. Accurate? In fact, yes, it is. But data doesn't just flow around the globe without a medium to travel through, and most users take the undersea cabling necessary to make it happen for granted. Now, thanks to a little company called Facebook
, we're hearing a bit more about it. This week, TIME dotCom (out of Malaysia) has entered into a construction and maintenance agreement of the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable system connecting Malaysia to Korea and Japan. The APG is a 10,000 km international fibre optic cable system that will link Malaysia to Korea and Japan with seven branches to other Asian countries. The cable system is scheduled to be ready in quarter three of 2014.
TIME is leading up the process, but Facebook as well as a few others are joining in by combining $450 million to the cause. APG is geographically well spread to bridge international capacity hubs such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea as well as connecting emerging markets such as Vietnam and China where demand for capacity is multiplying yearly. Saiful Husni, CEO of Global Transit, explaining the need nicely:
"An advantage is that we have a global network system landing directly into Malaysia. This lowers our dependencies on Singapore as the main gateway for Internet traffic. We can now channel high volumes of this traffic on our network with the lowest latency, directly to the US.
"Given that the APG will be the most advanced Intra-Asia cable system between with landing points in strategic locations, we can be the most competitive bandwidth provider in the region. The Group will now be able to provide the complete Internet connectivity route on its own assets from Asia all the way to the United States."
By adopting a 40 giga-bit-per second (Gbps) optical transmission
technology, the total design capacity of APG is at 54.8 Tera-bits per
second. APG is design protected for 100 Gbps technology upgrades to meet
dynamic traffic requirements in the future, giving TIME an opportunity
to increase its capacity allocation as and when the needs arise.
And considering just how fast Facebook is blowing up, we're sure that need will arise sooner rather than later.