Google, Facebook team to build high speed Internet cable from LA to Hong Kong


The world is growing more connected by the day – quite literally so. Owing to the need for near impossibly fast bandwidths, Google and Facebook have teamed with Pacific Light Data Communication, being the biggest investors in a project along with a group of others to make a cable that joins Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

This cable run bandwidth speeds of up to 24 Tbps. We’re talking Terabytes. And it’s going to be done via a submarine cable. It’ll also be a very long cable, spanning up to 12,800 km, connecting two continents. The cost of this project will be around $400 million and it was first brought to the world last year. But Google and Facebook weren’t yet connected to the project back then. They are now, and it seems like the two tech giants want a piece of the Internet distribution pie. But does this mean they’re willing to become full-fledged ISPs?

We all know Google is doing a lot of work in the Internet distribution services department with Project Fi and so has Facebook. But each of the companies’ aims is to reduce latency to its customers along the APAC region and ensure that their own networks remain private. Each of the investors taking part in the cable project will each have a portion of the cable to themselves. The cable itself has five pairs of fibres. A single pair will transmit up to 24 Tbps.

Now this cable is the longest running one in the world. The previous one which held that record was the Faster Cable, that connected the U.S. to Japan. Under sea cables have come quite in trend of late, as numerous companies now want to invest in such undertakings to help make the world more accessible. Microsoft and Facebook made their own partnership for the trans-Atlantic cable that’s faster than this one at 160 Tbps, but not as long. Google has a history of investing in high-powered cables running along the world like Unity, SJC, Faster, Monet, Tannat and so on. Google really is into making cables.

This new Trans-Pacific Cable however, will feature bands from 4 to 8 GHz along with a newer C band ranging from 1 to 2 GHz. That’s good enough for a broad range of devices to connect with through the Internet. The best part about this undertaking is that as and when newer technology is introduced and faster speeds are available, these cables will be able to run it without a hiccup. This makes the technology not only future proof, but also reliable in the long run. And since this cable will be running to data centres to manage the amount of data being stored, it’s safe to say that they won’t have that problem by the time this cable is completed by 2018.

Suddenly, our 20 Mbps connections don’t seem as fast anymore.


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