Google And Facebook Tag Team For 120Tbps Undersea Data-Link Between U.S. And China

Just yesterday, we reported that Nokia’s Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks division had just deployed a 65 Tbps submarine cable covering a distance of over 4,100 miles. Nokia’s record-setting feat just barely nudged out the Google-backed FASTER submarine fiber cable, which clocked in at 60 Tbps.

That was yesterday, and now Google is back in the news thanks to its stake in the new Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which will stretch between Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Google is working on the PLCN in partnership with Facebook and Pacific Light Data Communication (a subsidiary China Soft Power Technology).

PLCN will cover a distance of 12,800 kilometers (7,953 miles) and will offer total capacity of 120 Tbps. While Nokia’s 65 Tbps submarine cable can handle 10 million concurrent HD streams, Google says that PLCN eclipses that figure with 80 million concurrent HD streams.


“PLCN will be among the lowest-latency fiber optic routes between Hong Kong and the U.S. and the first to connect directly using ultra-high-capacity transmission,” explained PLDC Chairman Wei Junkang.

“It is certainly gratifying that global technology companies like Google and Facebook have become co-investors in PLCN. It is a strong signal that PLCN will be trusted to address the capacity needs for internet and international communications services throughout the Pacific Rim. We envision this deployment as the initial step in PLDC’s construction of a global network.”

PLCN is the sixth submarine cable system that Google has a stake in, joining FASTER, Unity, SJC, FASTER, MONET and Tannat. If all goes according to plan, Google and Facebook expect for PLCN to become operational some time in 2018.