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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Google Working On Undersea Cables For Broadband


Google finally confirmed the rumors of turning to undersea cables and announced that, together with other five associates will start “Unity”, a trans-Pacific undersea fiber-optic cable linking the United States and Japan. The investment will cost approximately $300 million and became necessary as the demand and the current capacity of the trans-Pacific cables tent towards an imbalance.

The international consortium includes Bharti Airtel, India’s leading integrated telecom service provider, Global Transit, a South Asian network operator, KDDI, a Japanese information and communication company, Pacnet, leading Asian telecom service provider, SingTel, an Asian leading communications group covering areas of Europe, U.S. and Asia Pacific, and of course Google.

The 10,000 kilometer cable, which has been designed as a five fiber pair cable system, each fiber with a 960Gbps capability, will link Chikura, near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and the West Coast and is expected to meet the new demands in data and Internet traffic.

“The Unity cable system allows the members of the consortium to provide the increased capacity needed as more applications and services migrate online, giving users faster and more reliable connectivity,” Unity spokesperson Jayne Stowell said in a statement.

The cable system is expected to respond to the demand in data and Internet traffic between the two continents and raise the current capacity by 20 percent, according to Google, and potentially add up to 7.68 Tbps of bandwidth.

The construction is to begin immediately, after an official agreement has already been signed on February 23 in Tokyo. NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications will be responsible for constructing and installing the cable system, which is set to become available in the first quarter of 2010.

Google is not the only one to have made such an initiative, as other lines, involving the names of Verizon and AT&T are already under construction or under way. And it’s no wonder, since the average growth in bandwidth demand is up 64 percent almost every year, and is expected to double within the next 5 years.

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