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Google's giant new trans-Pacific internet cable goes online Thursday

Google's giant new trans-Pacific internet cable goes online Thursday


‘faster, Faster and FASTER'

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A new undersea internet cable funded in part by Google and connecting Japan with the US is slated to go online starting June 30th. The joint announcement, made today in a press release from NEC Corporation, says construction and testing on the trans-pacific cable, dubbed "Faster," was successfully completed and the system is now ready for service. The whole line runs 9,000 kilometers and stretches from Oregon to Chiba and Mie prefectures in Japan. Though it lands in three distinct locations, Faster has extended connections to cover the entire West Coast in the US and every major city in Japan. It also has the capacity to connect with other major hubs in Asia.

Faster was first announced in August 2014 and it's led by a consortium of internet companies intent on improving cross-continent networking infrastructure. The group includes Google, Global Transit, China Telecom Global, Singtel, China Mobile International, and KDDI. Faster teamed up with NEC, a Japan-based global networking and IT giant, to help construct the cable system and bring it online. Faster is said to be the only trans-pacific cable line of its kind capable of delivering speeds up to 60 terabits per second using a six-fibre pair cable.

Faster delivers 60 terabits per second of bandwidth using low-loss fibre cables

"From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER’, and at one point it became the project name and today it becomes a reality," Hiromitsu Todokoro, chairman of the Faster management committee, said in a press release. "This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support." For companies like Singtel, Google, and others, increasing network capacity and bit rates is integral to growing businesses that rely on fast, reliable, and ubiquitous internet connections.

This isn't Google's first undersea cable investment, either. The company has invested in two other undersea cables that connect the US to South America, Japan, and other parts of Asia. These types of cables open up the possibility for dramatic increases in both overall connectivity and network speeds. The projects also part of the search giant's larger plan to own more and more of the global networking infrastructure, at both the international and local scale.

The Google Fiber division, which now operates as a standalone Alphabet subsidiary, focuses on bringing high-speed internet access to major US markets to compete with traditional broadband providers that are unwilling or unable to upgrade their networks. There's also Project Loon, an experimental initiative under Google's X lab responsible for trying to deliver Wi-Fi to remote areas of the Earth using hot air balloons.

Watch: Google's project to deliver Wi-Fi with balloons