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Google's new trans-Pacific cable is ready for service

The undersea fiber optic cable system, which lands in Oregon in the U.S. and has two landing points in Japan, delivers 60 Tbps of bandwidth across the Pacific.
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Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Staff Writer on
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The trans-Pacific fiber optic cable system funded by Google and a consortium of five other international companies is ready for service and goes online on Thursday.

The system, dubbed FASTER, lands in Oregon in the U.S. and has two landing points in Japan, in the Chiba and Mie prefectures. It delivers 60 Tbps of bandwidth across the Pacific, and it is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built -- about ten million times faster than the average cable modem.

"From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, 'faster, Faster and FASTER,' and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality," Hiromitsu Todokoro, chairman of the FASTER Management Committee, said in a statement.

Along with Google, the consortium includes China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and Singtel. The 9,000km cable, which has extended connections to Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle, was built by NEC Corporation.

Of the cable's total 60 Tbps bandwidth, Google gets access to up to 10 Tbps, which it said it will use to support users including Google Apps and Cloud Platform customers.

"This is especially exciting, as we prepare to launch a new Google Cloud Platform East Asia region in Tokyo later this year," Google's Alan Chin-Lun Cheung wrote in a blog post. "Dedicated bandwidth to this region results in faster data transfers and reduced latency as GCP customers deliver their applications and information to customers around the globe."

Google now owns four completed undersea cables and is working on more, Cheung noted. Meanwhile, Google Fiber, a subsidiary of Google's parent Alphabet, is building up the company's networking infrastructure within the U.S.

Last month, Microsoft and Facebook announced they're partnering to build a subsea cable across the Atlantic.

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