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TIME DotCom and Facebook Invest In Massive Undersea Internet Cable Project 94

Posted by timothy
from the also-recovering-cold-war-alien-artifacts dept.
MojoKid writes "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."
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TIME DotCom and Facebook Invest In Massive Undersea Internet Cable Project

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  • Ok, where is the Dentist?

  • Facebook investors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hey (83763) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @08:22PM (#40579087) Journal

    I bet Facebook IPO investors didn't know they were investing in this.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @09:41PM (#40579369) Journal
      I guarantee Facebook isn't doing it as a charity operation.

      They expect to get a return on their investment. Facebook might be ripping off their stock holders in general, (ha! might! I crack myself up), but you can count on them to never betray their stockholders by donating to charity!
      • Sigh, Zuck may be a douche but he has donated hundres of millions to charities, including $100M to NJ public schools.
        • lol ok, good you fact checked. Guess you can't even count on Facebook to not betray its shareholders by donating to charity.
    • by garcia (6573)

      So? Investing in a company is a gamble no matter what knowns there are. Companies always do things which are unexpected and possibly undesirable. However, sometimes these unexpected and undesirable actions have large payoffs.

      Perhaps Facebook wants a better presence in Asia. If some of the Asian countries which will be best served by this updated cable now have better access to Facebook, the payoffs could be huge for the investors. If not, an investor can always take their money elsewhere.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps Facebook wants a better presence in Asia. If some of the Asian countries which will be best served by this updated cable now have better access to Facebook, the payoffs could be huge for the investors. If not, an investor can always take their money elsewhere.

        Could could be even simpler than that even. They could see an opportunity to invest in something cheap with lots of returns. I seriously doubt Facebook would invest anything worth while simply based on the bandwidth returns. They are actually now a publicly ran company and the game has completely changed for them.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        So? Investing in a company is a gamble no matter what knowns there are.

        Pretty much, the only thing I expect on a stock return though is a good return per-share. And if I hold enough stock, I expect an invitation to the shareholders meeting so if they're doing anything stupid, I can voice my complaints. If it pays off, I really don't care what they do, as long as they're making me money.

        People can whine and cry about "greedy wall street" and all the rest. But they happily forget that the vast majority of the investments are retirement funds, and other loose asset shares incl

    • by isorox (205688)

      I bet Facebook IPO investors didn't know they were investing in this.

      Yes, their money's being spent on something tangible, which has a good chance of ROI!

    • by wmac1 (2478314)

      Facebook is possibly going to open an Acia-Pacific data center for the local market. They will need reliable high bandwidth access from the local web servers (and possibly databases) to the main data center.

      I don't think they want to enter bandwidth market and this is going to be directly used by FB.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @08:46PM (#40579181)

    Didn't I read a book about this?

    • by Hexact (22921)

      Cable laying is part of the plot in Cryptonomicon, but besides that Stephenson wrote a (very) long article in Wired 4.12 back in 1996:

      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass_pr.html [wired.com]

      "The hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, chronicling the laying of the longest wire on Earth."

      Entertaining and full of info, a must read if you are at all curious about cable laying.

    • by cthulhu11 (842924)
      My first thought as well
  • Confusing name (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by tepples (727027)
    I searched time.com for asia pacific gateway, and TIME Magazine has nothing to say about it. I wonder if there's a potential trademark case between TIME [time.com] and TIME [time.com.my].
  • by jd (1658) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [kapimi]> on Saturday July 07, 2012 @08:56PM (#40579221) Homepage Journal

    If they want to move all Facebook traffic off the regular Internet and build a separate infrastructure for it, maybe we can get all the Facebook users to migrate entirely over to Internet 3 and leave everyone else alone.

    • maybe we can get all the Facebook users to migrate entirely over to Internet 3 and leave everyone else alone.

      You gave me goosebumps.

    • Sorry, how exactly to Facebook users impact your usage of the rest if the internet such that moving them off to different infrastructure would benefit you?

      As far as I can see, you're getting nothing but benefit from Facebook existing; namely, it gives you a group of people to whinge about and feel smugly superior to. Bitching about AOL users just isn't enough to satisfy your ego any more.

      • Well, for starters, when I look at products on Amazon, I might no longer get a Facebook app that displays Facebooks users who also liked what I'm looking at. :)

      • by jd (1658)

        I can bitch about the Creationists who are inhabiting The Guardian newspaper's comments section at the moment, the idiots commenting on Yahoo! and the morons on YouTube. Hell, as I'm in the top 2% on intelligence tests, I've 98% of the planet I can feel smugly superior to if I really wanted to, but I'm going to be generous and only denigrate the bottom 2% and those are the inhabitants of Facebook.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          but I'm going to be generous and only denigrate the bottom 2% and those are the inhabitants of Facebook.

          Its funny because its true.

          600 million accounts, and half of them are extra accounts to prime farmville, and most of what is left are friends and family who have facebook accounts... just to stay in touch with the 2% who live there. And you can tell its circling the drain because companies are creating facebook accounts at breakneck speed... and you know something's cool when Pampers, Verizon, and "Cash f

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @09:21PM (#40579313)

    Why does Facebook even care about this? For a fraction of the cost of what they invested in this cable, they could open up a datacenter in Asia and replicate their content closer to their Asian customers.

    I could see why someone like Google might want to boost capacity since they are a conduit to other sites, so making everyone faster helps them out, but I don't see what Facebook is gaining.

    • Facebook's Strategy (Score:5, Informative)

      by andersh (229403) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @10:11PM (#40579541)

      This is all part of Facebook's new strategy.

      Facebook will be building a huge new data center in northern Sweden to support the rapid global growth of its users. The new data center in Lulea, Sweden will be Facebook’s first facility outside the United States.

      It’s the next step in our ongoing strategy of building our own infrastructure and moving away from leased facilities,” said Facebook spokesman Michael Kirkland. “We are expecting this data center to continue to help us reduce latency for our users in Europe and beyond.

      http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/10/27/facebook-goes-global-with-data-center-in-sweden/ [datacenterknowledge.com]

    • For a fraction of the cost of what they invested in this cable, they could open up a datacenter in Asia and replicate their content closer to their Asian customers.

      TFA says "Facebook as well as a few others are joining in by combining $450 million to the cause". So unless you have another source, we really don't know how big a fraction of the cost was footed by Facebook. Facebook could, after all, be merely the pretty face, the celebrity endorser, among investors with a more significant stake in the project

      • Most of the newer submarine cable systems have large amounts of participants in the consortium. It's not uncommon for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Global Crossing, Tata, BT, and others to be involved in these systems. My guess is that FB wants more control over the capacity of the system or to ensure capacity ends up where they need it, say China. Interesting landing points for China too.

        This is strange though. You'd think FB would rather invest in the data centers near big pipes instead investing in transit

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      A http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] for data out of Malaysia?
      If you map out private US telco and top provides you see a lot of strange loops and distant over provided hardware.
    • You, sir, are a retarded monkey.

      If Facebook builds a DC somewheres in Asia, they will need to pay for the bandwidth used to get between their DCs in the US and their shiny-new in Asia.

      There's already moves afoot by owners of network infrastructure to make Big Websites effectively *pay twice* (1) for access at the DC, PLUS (2) some magic number for letting those recently "accessed" bandwidths actually reach their destination.

      Owning the network infrastructure yourself fixes this problem TWICE over.

      Firstly
    • Even if it wasn't for making money on the cable by providing access to others and charging for it, they'd have a large argument why others shouldn't be charging them for access to their consumers. It's the same as having a patent arsenal if you're into software. You won't enforce your patents, if others won't enforce theirs. By owning part of the global infrastructure, you have a successful weapon against (other) Tier-1 TelCos charging you an arm and a leg.
  • unh-un (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @09:31PM (#40579333) Homepage Journal

    I'm just not comfortable with Facebook owning a trans-oceanic cable. There's just no good reason that they should own any infrastructure that crosses international borders and territorial waters.

    I also don't want Google to own the Clouds and Apple to own the Moon.

    • by andersh (229403) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @10:28PM (#40579615)

      It's a sound strategic move for any large content and service provider including Google, Apple and especially Facebook.

      They rely on the networks for their revenue, it makes sense to own parts of this infrastructure yourself if you can afford it. If only to use as leverage and/or offsetting future increases in transport costs. Owning huge datacenters is not enough, any longer, for the very large scale, global enterprises.

      The [network] owners have already begun asking companies such as Facebook to pay for their users' data usage. The European ISPs and telecom corporations asked earlier this year for the right to offer "better" service levels to paying clients [slashdot.org] such as Facebook (i.e. Network Neutrality).

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        It's a sound strategic move for any large content and service provider including Google, Apple and especially Facebook.

        I'm sure it is. I'm also sure there are a lot of "moves" that would be sound strategy for a corporation that would not be beneficial to the rest of the world.

        I haven't yet made the leap of faith to, "What's good for Facebook is good for the World".

        • Yes, I see your point and it's well founded, however for the moment I see no reason to wish for interference.

          The best way to resolve the issue is in the form of competition. The two sides, content providers and network owners, are struggling to finding a balance between who pays and owns what.

          Regulators and consumers need only sit back and watch, if there is a need for regulation the watchdogs can step in and force their hand(s). This latest wave of changes has barely begun, who knows where and how the line

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            The part that bothers me is private industry owning structures that physically cross borders, international waters, etc. I know it's already been done but regulation becomes fuzzy with these trans-national projects. Does the country at one end regulate or the other or both or none?

            I also don't want corporations having their own foreign policy or their own military. Both already exist, but I'm not happy about it.

    • I also don't want Google to own the Clouds and Apple to own the Moon.

      Why not? Oracle already owns (the) Sun [oracle.com]!

  • From the map, it looks like they are skipping the Philippines. I wonder why. I thought the Philippine population was blowing up, and I think they are also heavy Facebook users.
    • I remember reading that the Philippines was suppose to be connected in the first version of the APG, but later was removed because of funding or political issues in the Philippines. My memory is a bit fuzzy though, so go google it.

      But, on the same vein, I was also wondering why Indonesia was not connected... seeing as it's the 4th largest country in the world and the 4th largest number of facebook users (per country). http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/ [socialbakers.com]
    • by jrumney (197329)
      This is a cable from Malaysia to Japan/Korea. The branches are to places where some company has offered to share some of the cost in return for possibility to lease some of the spare bandwidth on the cable. Currently, all the international bandwidth to Malaysia is provided by leasing spare bandwidth on cables that run past Malaysia (mostly from Australia to Europe, or Singapore to Japan and Europe), and that spare bandwidth is fast running out. Having ownership of the cable should provide some guarantees

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