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Google, Asian companies to build $300 mn super-high-speed Trans-Pacific underwater cable system

Published time: August 12, 2014 19:07
AFP Photo / Sam Yeh

AFP Photo / Sam Yeh

Google has joined five Asian companies to build and operate a new $300 million Trans-Pacific submarine cable system, called FASTER, which will connect the US and two locations in Japan, providing a service 10 million times faster than a cable modem.

The project would see the 9,000-kilometer fiber-optic cable landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan with extensions to other Asian locations in the future, according to the companies.

In the US, the connection will cover major hubs on the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

Sometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean,” Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of infrastructure, said in a Google Plus post Monday.

Image from nec.com
FASTER will have the design capacity of 60 Tbps (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs), which is about 10 million times faster than your cable modem, the companies said.

In addition to Google’s previous investments – UNITY in 2008 and SJC (South-East Asia Japan Cable) in 2011, “FASTER will make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia,” Hölzle added.

The project will be jointly managed by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel, with NEC as the system supplier. The total investment is estimated at about $300 million.

FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world,” said Woohyong Choi, the chairman of the FASTER executive committee.

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,” Choi said. “The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

The construction of the cable is to begin right away and the system is planned to start operating during the second quarter of 2016.