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Google-backed undersea cable between US and Japan is going online!

Google started making investments in a number of undersea cables back in 2008, but one of its largest investments was in the $300 million FASTER cable between Japan and the U.S. 

As the company announced today, Google's giant new trans-Pacific internet cable this cable is going online.


FASTER is one of just a few hundred submarine cables connecting various parts of the world, which collectively form an important backbone that helps run the Internet.

The 9,000km six-fiber pair cable can deliver up to 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth — or as Google’s SVP of Technical Infrastructure Urs Holzle puts it, that’s “about 10 million times faster than your cable modem.”



It connects Oregon with the Chiba and Mie prefectures in Japan with 9,000 km (5,600 miles) of wires. However, those aren't the only places that will benefit from its capacity to deliver speeds that can reach a whopping 60 terabits per second. The "FASTER cable," as it's called, has connections across the West Coast that cover Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle, among other locations. It can also improve internet connections in Japan's major cities and even in other Asian metropolises.

According to Google SVP Urs Hölzle, its 60Tbps total capacity is "more than any active subsea cable, and 10 million times faster than your cable modem." Japanese company NEC Corporation began building FASTER back in 2014. Besides Google, the project was also backed by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and Singtel. The big G completely owns one part of FASTER, though, particularly the cables connecting Japan and Taiwan, which have a smaller, but still impressive, capacity of 20 Tbps.


While the focus of Google’s announcement is mostly on the connection between the U.S. and Japan, it’s worth noting that the FASTER network will also connect Japan and Taiwan over two fiber pairs that will offer an initial capacity of 20 Tbps. This extension between Taiwan and the two landing sites in Japan is 100 percent owned by Google (through its wholly owned Google Cable Bermuda subsidiary).

Google continues to make other undersea cable investments, too. To better connect the U.S. East Coast and Europe, for example, the company recently announced a partnership with Facebook to build the fastest trans-Atlantic undersea cable yet, with a capacity of 160 Tbps.



Source: Urs Hölzle (Google+), NEC,TechCrunch.



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