Google, 5 Asian Telcos to Invest $300M in Trans-Pacific Cable Network Connecting U.S. to Japan

By @ibtimesau on
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A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013. REUTERS

A 3,000-kilometre trans-Pacific cable network aims to link the U.S. and Japan. Named FASTER, the cable network would be cost $300 million and would be funded by Google and five Asian telecom and communications companies, reports NDTV.

Its initial capacity would be 60 terabits a second, connecting Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan.

Construction starts immediately and NEC Corporation, the system supplier for the cable network, said the network would be ready for service by the second quarter of 2016. It would have the capacity to connect to the cable systems of other Asian nations.

Other telcos involved in the projects are China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI Corporation and Singapore Telecommunications. Google, which runs the super-fast Fiber TV and Internet Service in the Kansas City metropolitan area and trying to expand to more U.S. cities, is also part of the venture.

Although there are already several hundred underwater telecom cables connecting various points in the world, the FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, said Woohyong Choi, chairman of he project's executive committee.

Google was part of similar venture before, such as a 2008 agreement to construct an ultra-high speed submarine cable to transport Internet and other traffic between the U.S. and Japan.

The project is in response to higher demand for data handling services, which is actually a global trend as more low-cost smartphones and tablets capable of providing Internet service become available.

The new devices, however, must be matched with corresponding upgrade in infrastructure facilities of telcos such as what the cable project aims. 

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