The ties that bind Google to Asia are about to get a bit deeper, literally.
Google has announced plans to build a new undersea cable called FASTER in partnership with five Asia-based telecom companies.
Included in the consortium are NEC, KDDI, China Telecom Global, SingTel, China Mobile International and Global Transit, essentially the region’s largest telecom players. When finished, the cable will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 60 terabytes per second.
“[S]ometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean,” said Urs Hölzle, SVP of technical infrastructure at Google, on his Google+ page. “That’s why we’re investing in FASTER, a new undersea cable that will connect major West Coast cities in the US to two coastal locations in Japan … FASTER will make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia.”
Scheduled to be ready by the second quarter of 2016, the project will cost $300 million to deploy and will reach from locations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Shima and Chikura in southeastern Japan.
Google’s efforts to increase its reach in Asia are in line with global trends. According to recent studies, Asia has the largest number of Internet users on the planet.
However, China remains a sore spot for Google; China regularly blocks Google’s services in a bid to control the flow of information in the country. The most recent incident came in June during the Tiananmen Square protest anniversary, leaving many users unable to access Google’s search and email services.