Google and Asian firms laying US-Japan underwater cable

Tuesday 12 August 2014 12.32
9,000km fibre-optic cable will stretch from two points in Japan to the US
9,000km fibre-optic cable will stretch from two points in Japan to the US

Google is partnering with five Asian telecom firms to build a $300m underwater cable across the Pacific Ocean in a bid to meet surging Internet use.

The project, named FASTER, would see the 9,000km fibre-optic cable stretch from two points in Japan to the US, with extensions to other Asian locations later on, the companies said. 

In the US, the cable would be extended to link major cities on the west coast including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, they said. 

There are several hundred underwater telecom cables that connect various points in the world. 

But "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", Woohyong Choi, chairman of the project, said. 

Also involved in the project are Japanese mobile carrier KDDI, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Malaysia's Global Transit, and Singapore's SingTel. 

Japan's NEC would build the system, which is expected to come into service in the first half of 2016, the firms said. 

Google has been involved in similar projects before, including a 2008 deal to build an ultra-high-speed submarine cable to carry Internet and other traffic between Japan and the US.