Google: Highest-Capacity Undersea Cable Ever Built is Online

Rich OrdTechnology

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Google announced that the 60Tbps long-haul undersea fibre optic cable from the US to Japan that it invested in has come online as of today, June 30, 2016. The Google Cloud itself will have access to up to 10Tbps (Terabits per second) of the cable’s total 60Tbps bandwidth. This bandwidth will power Google Apps and their Cloud Platform. According to the Google Cloud team "customers will run at the speed of light with this new FASTER undersea pipe."

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"This is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built — about ten million times faster than your average cable modem — and we’re beaming light through it starting today," commented Alan Chin-Lun Cheung of Google Submarine Networking Infrastructure. "This is especially exciting, as we prepare to launch a new Google Cloud Platform East Asia region in Tokyo later this year."

The new undersea cable system, announced in August 2014, was funded and built by a consortium of internet companies including Google, Singtel, China Telecom Global, KDDI and China Mobile International. The group partnered with NEC to build the cable which came to be known as FASTER for obvious reasons. "From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER’, and at one point it became the project name and today it becomes a reality," said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee. "This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support."

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"The completion of the FASTER cable system will provide capacity to support the expected four-fold increase in broadband traffic demand between Asia and North America," stated Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services of Singtel Group Enterprises. "By adding network redundancy and ultra-low latency to our existing trans-Pacific cable systems, it reinforces our leadership in international data services in the region and enhances our infrastructure to support our customers’ critical data traffic."

“With a state-of-the-art design, the cable system provides continuous connectivity and sufficiently high capacity for cloud, video streaming, analytics and the Internet of Things, that will help spur innovation on both sides of the Pacific to stimulate the growth of the digital economy,” he added.

NEC's OCC Factory made the state-of-the-art cables that power the FASTER connectivity system. Check out how they are made below:

FASTER is the only trans-pacific cable line capable of delivering speeds up to 60 terabits per second using a six-fibre pair cable, according to NEC. "FASTER is the first trans-Pacific submarine cable system designed from day one to support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The combination of extremely low loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processor, which compensates for the huge amount of cumulative dispersion at the end of the cable, enable this six-fiber pair cable to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific."

The FASTER Cable System is a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable that lands in Oregon in the United States and has two landing points in Japan, Chiba and Mie prefectures. FASTER connect to all of the major hubs on the West Coast via system extensions including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. Additionally, FASTER will be connecting to neighboring cable systems extends that will allow it to bring high-speed internet access to many other nations in Asia.

"This was the first trans-Pacific submarine cable built solely by NEC Corporation, employing the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology. We are honored that the consortium entrusted us to build FASTER. Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day," said Kenichi Yoneyama, Project Manager for FASTER at NEC's Submarine Network Division. "This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region."

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Rich Ord