Google invests in super fast Trans-Pacific cable

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Google is part of a consortium of five other global companies that have signed a contract to build and operate a Trans-Pacific cable system under the Pacific Ocean, it was announced today.

Estimated to cost $300m (£179m), the FASTER fibre cable will connect the US to two landing locations in Japan and will deliver speeds of 60 terabytes per second, which is enough to send more than 2,000 uncompressed HD films a second.

The cable is scheduled to be operational by 2016.

As well as Google, the six-company consortium will include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel. The name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system’s purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

Woohyong Choi, chairman of the consortium’s executive committee said in a statement: “FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world.

“These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications. The consortium partners are glad to work together to add a new cable to our global infrastructure.

“The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world. The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

The cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighbouring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations.

Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

Naoki Yoshida, general manager at NEC’s Submarine Network Division said: “NEC Corporation is proud to be the system supplier for the FASTER cable system, a state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth.

“Backed by more than 30 years of experience in constructing over 200,000 kilometers of cables, NEC is one of the world’s top vendors of submarine cable systems.”

Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, said today in a Google+ post. “At Google we want our products to be fast and reliable, and that requires a great network infrastructure, whether it’s for the more than a billion Android users or developers building products on Google Cloud Platform.

“And sometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean.”

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately.