Google joins Asian telcos in trans-Pacific cable build

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Google joins Asian telcos in trans-Pacific cable build

Ready for service in 2016.

Google has joined Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean telcos in a project to build a new subsea cable between Japan and the United States West Coast.

The A$325 million FASTER project involves a six fibre-pair cable which will enter service in the second quarter of 2016.

Initial design capacity for FASTER is 100 wavelengths at 100 gigabits per second each - with six fibre-pairs, the cable will have a total capacity of 60 terabits per second.

That capacity makes FASTER the largest design-capacity cable across the Pacific.

FASTER cable route. Source: NEC
FASTER cable route. Source: NEC, the consortium's supplier

The six companies said the FASTER cable was being built in response to "rapidly surging traffic demands".

Google's senior vice president for technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, said the company's investment in FASTER would ensure better performance and reliability for its products.

The search giant has invested in two other links across the Pacific in the past, the 7.7 Tbps UNITY, and the South-East Asia Japan Cable with 28Tbps capacity. Both cables were built in conjuction with regional telcos as well, and both are now operational.

Apart from Google, the telcos involved in the FASTER project include Optus' owner SingTel, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global and Japan's second-largest operator KDDI. Cable operator Global Transit from Malaysia is also taking part.

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