Google has announced its financial support for ambitious plans to construct a Trans-Pacific high-speed internet cable led by a consortium of Asia's biggest telecommunications players, including China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and SingTel.
The $300 million project ,which goes by the moniker “FASTER”, will feature the most advanced high-quality 6 fibre-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, to be provided by Japanese IT giant NEC. The system is expected to have an initial design capacity of 60 terabytes per second (100 gigabytes per second x 100 wavelengths x 6 fibre pairs).
The submarine cable system will traverse the northern Pacific Ocean to provided a direct connection between Chikura and Shima in Japan with the Western Coast of North America, reaching key population centres including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.
Woohyong Choi, FASTER executive committee chairman, said the submarine cable will make a key contribution to world’s cross-regional Internet infrastructure.
“FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world,” said Choi in an official statement. “These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications.”
He said the development of FASTER will mark an unprecedented advance for Cross-Pacific Internet communications – a route of critical importance given that it connects East Asia with the most economically affluent parts of North America.
“The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world,” said Choi. “The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”
Urs Holzle, Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure, said the Internet giant was investing in the project in order to bolster the usage of its own products throughout Asia.
Holzle said Google’s products can only be made “fast and reliable” with a “great network infrastructure” to support their usage.
“FASTER will make the internet faster and more reliable for our users in Asia,” he said.