Amid the ongoing pandemic, Google has gained Department of Justice (DOJ) approval to use an undersea cable to ease network stress.
Google had filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use part of the Pacific Light Cable Network System that runs between Taiwan and the U.S. In its announcement about the Special Temporary Authority (STA) application, the DOJ cited Google’s belief that it would need additional capacity to keep up with demand over the next six months.
“In its application for the STA, Google emphasized ‘an immediate need to meet internal demand for capacity between the U.S. and Taiwan’ and that without the sought temporary authority Google would likely have to seek alternative capacity at ‘significantly higher prices,’” reads the DOJ statement. “ After discussions with Google representatives, the departments concluded that the obligations undertaken by Google in the Provisional National Security agreement would be sufficient to preserve their abilities to enforce the law, protect national security, and preserve public safety.”
As a result, the DOJ concluded that “on behalf of itself as well as the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the department advised the FCC that those agencies do not oppose Google LLC’s application (through its subsidiary GU Holdings Inc.) to operate the segment of the Pacific Light Cable Network System connecting the United States to Taiwan for the next six months, pending a final disposition of the license application, so long as that temporary authority is conditioned on certain obligations.”
The STA should help Google meet the additional demand it is dealing with as unprecedented numbers of individuals work from home and shelter in place during the global crisis.