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Google Building $300 Million Cable Connecting US West Coast to Japan

In a move that is raising eyebrows among many in the tech world, search engine company Google, Inc. along with five Asian telecommunications companies have announced plans to build a massive cable network, called “FASTER.  According to Business Insider, the cable “will have an initial capacity of 60 terabits per second and will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan”

The cable system itself will apparently address the traffic demands for connectivity to internet and phone services while on the Trans-Pacific route.  The report from Business Insider goes on to say, “NEC Corp, which will be the system supplier for the cable network, said in a statement that construction would begin immediately and the network would be ready for service in the second quarter of 2016.”

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Google already owns an extremely fast network called “Fiber” in the Kansas area and has been looking to expand their reach into other American cities for quite some time. “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,” Google Fellow, Urs Hölzle, said on Google+. “That’s why we’re investing in FASTER, a new undersea cable that will connect major West Coast cities in the US to two coastal locations in Japan with a design capacity of 60 Tbps (that’s about ten million times faster than your cable modem).

In a report issued by Forbes, they go on to say, “This is not Google’s first foray in submarine cable investments. Google also invested in the UNITY and SJC (South-East Asia Japan Cable) submarine cables in 2008 and 2011, respectively. UNITY is a 3.3Tb/s cable that connects the U.S. to Japan. The SJC is a $400 million cable system that handles up to 28Tb/s and connects 7 countries in Asia.”

 

Royce Christyn
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