Google to build three new subsea cables

Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Google to build three new subsea cables

Google plans to expand its global infrastructure with three new submarine cables and five new regions. The company will open the Netherlands and Montreal regions in the first quarter of 2018, followed by Los Angeles, Finland and Hong Kong — with more to come.

Then, in 2019 Google will commission three subsea cables: the Hong Kong-Guam Cable system (HK-G), a consortium cable interconnecting major subsea communication hubs in Asia; Curie, a private cable connecting Chile to Los Angeles; and Havfrue, a consortium cable connecting the US to Denmark and Ireland.  

“At Google, we’ve spent $30 billion improving our infrastructure over three years, and we’re not done yet,” wrote Ben Treynor Sloss, VP, in a blog post. These new investments expand Google’s existing cloud network.

HK-G cable

In the Pacific, Google is working with RTI-C and NEC on the Hong Kong-Guam cable system. Together with Indigo and other existing subsea systems, this cable creates multiple scalable, diverse paths to Australia, increasing its resilience in the Pacific. As a result, customers will experience improved capacity and latency from Australia to major hubs in Asia. It will also increase network capacity at the company’s new Hong Kong region, it said in a blog post.

Curie cable

The group's investment in the Curie cable (named after renowned scientist Marie Curie) is part of its ongoing commitment to improve global infrastructure. In 2008, Google became the first tech company to invest in a subsea cable as a part of a consortium. With Curie, it becomes the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable.

“By deploying our own private subsea cable, we help improve global connectivity while providing value to our customers,” wrote Sloss. “Owning the cable has some distinct benefits. Since we control the design and construction process, we can fully define the cable’s technical specifications, streamline deployment and deliver service to users and customers faster. Also, once the cable is deployed, we can make routing decisions that optimise for latency and availability.

“Curie will be the first subsea cable to land in Chile in almost 20 years. Once deployed, Curie will be Chile’s largest single data pipe. It will serve Google users and customers across Latin America.”

Havfrue cable

In order to increase capacity and resiliency in its North Atlantic systems, Google is working with Facebook, Aqua Comms and Bulk Infrastructure to build a direct submarine cable system connecting the US to Denmark and Ireland. This cable, called Havfrue (Danish for ‘mermaid’), will be built by TE SubCom and is expected to come online by the end of 2019. The marine route survey, during which the supplier determines the specific route the cable will take, is already underway.

Figure 1: Diagram shows three new subsea cable investments, expanding capacity to Chile, Asia Pacific and across the Atlantic.

Figure 2: A complete list of Google’s subsea cable investments. New cables in this announcement are highlighted yellow.

Google has direct investment in 11 cables, including those planned or under construction. In addition to these 11 cables where Google has direct ownership, the company also leases capacity on numerous additional submarine cables.

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