The Stack Archive

Google-led consortium to build trans-Pacific ‘Faster’ cable

Wed 13 Aug 2014

A consortium of six tech companies has announced plans to build and operate a cable network under the Pacific Ocean, linking the US with Japan.

The cable system, dubbed ‘Faster,’ will deliver incredibly fast internet speeds, with a current design capacity of 60 terabytes per second. It will not be the only trans-Pacific communication cable – however, the group claim that due to rocketing demand for cross-continental data networks, ‘Faster’ is a necessary development.

The consortium, which includes Google, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, SingTel, and KDDI, is expected to spend a total of $300mn, approximately £179mn.

The group hope to achieve such a high capacity by installing 6 fibre-pairs, which each carry 100 wavelengths of 100Gbps capacity.

“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 […] will benefit all users of the global internet,” said Woohyong Choi, chairman of the Faster executive committee.

The speeds promised by the ‘Faster’ cable are far quicker than anything users in most of the US and Europe are accustomed to. The fastest widely-available speed of broadband in the UK is currently 152 megabytes per second, compared to the 60 terabytes per second proposed by the consortium.

Naoki Yoshida, general manager at NEC’s submarine network department, announced NEC had been selected as the project’s cable supplier:

“NEC Corporation is proud to be the system supplier for the ‘Faster’ cable system, a state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth.”

‘Faster’ will initially connect with the Japanese areas, Chikura and Shima, before landing in other Asian locations in China and Singapore. In the US, ‘Faster’ is expected to land in southern Oregon and track along to the west coast cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

Construction has already started on the fibre cable project, and ‘Faster’ is expected to be fully operational by mid-2016.


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