October 23, 2016

Google and Facebook Team Up for Transpacific Cable

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Two tech giants arebuilding the largest and fastest trams pacific cable in the world which will provide speeds at 120 Terabits per second. Google and Facebook have teamed up with the Pacific Light Data Communication to have this cable installed. The cable will connect the cities of Los Angeles and Hong Kong and consists of almost thirteen thousand kilometers of cable.

The Pacific Light Cable Network is a subsidiary of China Soft Power Technology, a company that does not have a significant amount of experience in building underwater cable lines. For Google the project is running through their cloud platform group and will greatly improve the speed, data capacity and latency between North America and Asia. Facebook users will also realize greater connection speeds as a result of the expanded cable network.

The new cable will be the fastest in the world replacing an earlier project that Google has invested in that is known as “The Faster Cable”. Google has an interest in five other major cable lines and appears to be building up a competency in developing them. The names of the trans ocean cables are named are Unity, SJC, FASTER, MONET and Tannat. This project will contain five pairs of cables each of which provides for 24 tpbs of bandwidth.

While it may seem strange to see two competitors like Google and Facebook creating a joint project with a Chinese company to develop the underwater cable line, these types of joint venture projects are common when developing underwater cable lines given their monstrous cost. The total cost of this project is expected to be $400 million in total. After completed the cable will be jointly owned by all three companies. The project is scheduled to be online and operating at full capacity in 2018.

Other competitors are also moving into the market. Amazon for one is moving into the market but has not entered into any joint venture projects with other major tech companies the way Google has done. Facebook and Microsoft also have teamed up on a transatlantic wire which is faster than the trans pacific one that Facebook and Google are developing, but it is half of the distance of this project and therefore easier to run at higher speeds.

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