Search engine Google Inc and five Asian telecommunications firms have teamed up to build and operate a $300m undersea cable system from the U.S. to Japan to support increasing bandwidth usage and better connection with its data centers in various parts of the world.
The trans-Pacific optical fiber system has been named “Faster”, will have an initial data capacity of 60 terabytes per second and will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to two coastal locations in Japan.
Construction will begin right away with the network ready for service in the second quarter of 2016, said NEC, system’s supplier, in its announcement on Monday.
The system is aimed to be adaptable to intense traffic demands for all kinds of data exchange including content and business, broadband, mobile, applications, said NEC. It will be landed at two coastal locations - Chikura and Shima in Japan, and will join with neighboring cable systems to extend Internet capacity beyond Japan to other countries in Asia. For connections in the U.S., the system will associate with major West Coast hubs, for example, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.
“The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet,” said Woohyong Choi, the Faster executive committee chairman, in NEC’s announcement.
The arrangement will profit Google especially by setting up to connect its data centers in the U.S and Asia. It is also said to benefit Google to better serve its own internal capacity needs. “Google’s investment in the newly announced submarine cable does not come as a surprise,” said Tim Stronge, vice president of research at TeleGeography, a telecom research firm.
In 2010, a similar undersea cable system called “Unity” by Google went into service. Last year, a similar 8,900 kilometer undersea fiber cable system in Asia, backed by a consortium including Google, China Telecom, NEC and a host of local telecommunications companies, went live.
Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google announced in a blog 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. 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). Along with our 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."
Things are changing with social media giants getting involved in construction of cable system with the growth of Internet. Recently, Facebook took stake in an undersea cable consortium linking Asian nations. Microsoft too, is said to be involved in talks to help construct a link for associating China, South Korea and Japan in the U.S., as per a Wall Street Journal report.
Also involved in the project are China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Malaysia’s Global Transit, Japan’s KDDI and Singapore’s SingTel among other funders and partners.