Google’s ‘faster, Faster and FASTER’ Pacific cable kicks into gear

30 Jun 2016

Google’s partnership with a selection of internet companies to construct an internet cable linking the US to Japan has just gotten over the line.

Dubbed ‘Faster’, the 9,000km cable that Google has helped pioneer links Oregon, on the US west coast, with Chiba and Mie in Japan, and paves the way for dramatic improvements in connectivity.

With the capacity to cover the entire west coast, every major Japanese city and hubs in mainland Asia, Faster can apparently deliver speeds of 60Tb per second.

The consortium behind the project is made up of Google, Global Transit, China Telecom Global, Singtel, China Mobile International and KDDI, with NEC constructing the cable.

“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,” said Hiromitsu Todokoro, chairman of the project.

Basic route of the cable, via NEC

Basic route of the cable, via NEC

It is operational from today and follows in the footsteps of several continent-linking cables in recent years. Google has actively invested in connections between the US and South America – with shark bites one of the primary obstacles to overcome – and other parts of Asia, while similar projects have become vogue trans-Atlantic.

Marea, a joint Microsoft-Facebook project, is expected to link Bilbao in Spain with Virginia in the US.

Last August, Mayo welcomed a 5,475km direct transatlantic fibre-optic cable capable of handling one-third of the world’s telephone calls.

The initial capacity of the Mayo cable provides for more than 1.6m ultra-high-definition video channels running simultaneously, or more than 32m 4G wireless callers. It will also have a latency speed of 53.8 milliseconds.

That cable eventually made it to the UK, while Cork recently tapped into another US-UK cable called Hibernia Express.

Google image via Open Grid/Flickr

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic