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Business trends

Google, Facebook and Amazon drive push for deep-sea cables in Asia

Construction to climb 30% in region as tech giants enter the fray

Engineers use a specialized vessel to lay down an undersea cable. (Photo courtesy of NEC)

TOKYO -- Half of the new undersea communication cables to be built over the next three years will connect to Asia as Google, Facebook and other big-name tech companies look to harness the region's mushrooming demand for bandwidth.   

Google is participating in four deep-sea cable projects, such as one linking Guam with China. Those hookups are expected to come online as early as next year. Google says the maps, videos and other services it provides hinge on infrastructure that is both fast and reliable. Late last year, Facebook and Amazon joined Japan's NTT Communications and SoftBank Group to fund a 14,000km project connecting the U.S., Japan and the Philippines. Once it goes live in early 2020, the cable will be able to deliver 60 terabits of data a second. Microsoft is also backing underwater cable projects.

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