Google eyes building undersea cable between Asia and the US

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Google has formed a consortium with five Asia-based telecom companies to build a super-fast undersea cable that runs from the US to Asia.

Dubbed FASTER, the undersea cable will be built by Google with Asia’s largest telecom players including KDDI, China Telecom Global, SingTel, Global Transit and China Mobile International.

Meanwhile, NEC will serve as the system supplier for the FASTER cable system.

Once completed, the cable, which is set to be ready by Q2 2016, can deliver speeds of as much as 60 terabytes per second. The consortium is expected to spend around $300 million on the project.

According to Woohyong Choi, the chairman of the FASTER executive committee: “The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world.”

“The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

FASTER will first land at Shima and Chikura in Japan prior to connecting to other Asian destinations, presumably including Singapore and China. At the other end of the line, FASTER will land in Oregon prior to connecting with other US west coast hubs.

Google’s efforts to improve its reach in Asia have been in line with global trends. Recent studies show that Asia has the world’s biggest number of internet users.

However, Google has been regularly blocked in China, with the most recent incident occurring during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest.

While it is unclear how the new cable line to Asia will affect the company’s China access, any boost to Google’s reach into Asia in general is expected to carry long-term benefits.

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