Google-Backed Trans-Pacific Undersea Cable Connects Japan And U.S. At Blazing 60 Tbps

With all of the online services it offers, Google obviously has a vested interest in connecting people to the Internet and promoting high-speed connections. It's part of the reason why Google is pushing its Google Fiber service across the country, and it's why the sultan of search teamed with five other firms to invest $300 million in FASTER, an undersea cable system that transfers data between the West Coast and Japan with a mind-boggling 60 terabits per second of bandwidth.

FASTER was constructed with the latest high-quality six-fiber-pair cable and 100 gigabits per second x 100 wavelengths optical transmission technologies for an initial design capacity of 60Tbps, which is "about ten million times faster than your cable modem," according to Google's Urs Hölzle. The cable will run approximately 9,000 kilometers (a little shy of 5,600 miles), landing at Chikura and Shima in Japan.

FASTER Cable
Source: Google

Many neighboring cable systems will extend the capacity of FASTER beyond Japan to other Asian locations. On the other end of the line, it will reach major hubs on the U.S. West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle areas.

As part of its investment in FASTER, which went online Wednesday night, Google gets access to up to 10Tbps of bandwidth between the U.S. and Japan. Google said it plans to use the capacity to support its users, including Google Apps and Cloud Platform customers.

"This is especially exciting, as we prepare to launch a new Google Cloud Platform East Asia region in Tokyo later this year. Dedicated bandwidth to this region results in faster data transfers and reduced latency as GCP customers deliver their applications and information to customers around the globe," Google stated in a blog post.

Google's participation here is part of a consortium comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel. However, this isn't the first undersea cable project that Google's been involved in. It also made investments in the UNITY submarine communications cable that was installed in 2008.

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