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Google to Invest in Undersea Cable

Google, along with five other telcom companies, is investing $300 million into the construction of an 10,000 km undersea cable to carry data to and from Asia. The high-speed fiber optic cable, known as Unity, will run between the US and Japan, and will have a capacity of up to 7.68 Tbps.

Unity is expected to accommodate the growing demand for trans-Pacific bandwidth.  According to TeleGeography, such trans-Pacific bandwidth has increased annually at the rate of 63.7%, and is expected to double biannually from now until 2013.

Construction on Unity is expected to be completed in 2010, at which time Google is projecting a 20% increase the amount of available trans-Pacific bandwidth.

In investing in the trans-Pacific cable, Google has become the first non-telecom company to take an active role in submarine cable ownership.  Their reasons for investing in bandwidth is simple: they use a lot of it, especially since acquiring YouTube.  In many cases, they’ve exceeded what traditional providers can offer them, and have been forced to think and work outside the box to get their own solution in place.

Google, however isn’t the only one backing undersea bandwidth solutions, in fact, three additional submarine cables have been planed.  In August of 2008, the Trans-Pacific Express Cable system is expected to go live, which connects the US to China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan. Next year, in 2009, The Asia-America Gateway Cable System will connect the US to several south Asian countries.  Lastly, a third cable is currently being planned by Reliance FLAG, which was formerly known as FLAG Telecom.
When all four new undersea cables are up and running, the bandwidth capacity will have doubled.  It still won’t be enough, however, and Google and others will need to continue expanding their efforts.

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5 thoughts on “Google to Invest in Undersea Cable

  1. I see that there is more under sea cable activity between the US and Asia via the Pacific ocean. As these more affluent parts of the world are progressing, Africa is stagnating. Of course, the benefits of investing in such projects in Africa are seemingly low. But for the world to progress, there is a need for some of those undersea cable to be routed through the Atlantic Ocean via the West Coast of Africa, all the way down to South Africa and then along the East Coast of Africa to India and the rest of Asia via the Indian Ocean. This will also provide an alternative link between America and Asia in times of environmental disasters (God forbid!) in the Pacific region. You do not put all your eggs in one basket. I hope some Telecommunication companies are getting my point.

  2. this is a great project, but it will be more profitable if unity creates a trans-antlantic lic.