Google announced it’s joining with Asian companies China Telecom (CHA), China Mobile International, Malaysia’s Global Transit, Japan’s KDDI and Singapore’s SingTel will spend $300 million to create an underseas cable capable of speeds as fast as 60 Tbps (Terabits per second). Google explains that’s ten million times faster than the cable modem bringing the Internet into your home.
The project will simply be known as "Faster," with Japanese-based NEC supplying the high-quality, 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies for the project.
Google shares were falling nearly 1% to $562.29 in midday trading in New York.
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Google says it wants to "make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia.” BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis thinks Google’s investment makes sense. "It’s another stake for Google in global data pipes," Gillis said in a phone interview. "Google needs them to sync its own data centers around the world."
Google has funded similar projects in the past including a 2008 cable to Japan and a connection between Japan, Thailand and the Philippines three years later.
The new trans-Pacific cable will connect U.S. West Coast hubs including Seattle, Portland (near Google’s huge data center in The Dalles, Oregon), San Francisco and Los Angeles with two Japanese coastal cities - Chikura and Shima. The connection will then be shared with other Asian countries.
Kerry Rice, analyst with Needham & Company believes Google's involvement in the new venture is pretty basic. In a phone interview he said, "the new cable will mean more use for Google - better access, more bandwidth and generally a better basic experience for its users."
Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, Urs Holzle, says the deal is part of his company’s overall strategy. "At Google we want our products to be fast and reliable, and that requires a great network infrastructure, whether it's for the more than a billion Android users or developers building products on Google Cloud Platform," Holzle wrote in a blog post. "And sometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean."
The company’s apparent obsession with speedy connections is also evident in this country. It is currently in the process of rolling out it’s Google Fiber television and Internet service in a number of U.S. cities including Kansas City, Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.
Construction of the new cable will begin immediately, and is slated to be ready for use by the second quarter of 2016.
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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