Google Helps Fund $300M Undersea Cable To Meet Asian Demand

Google and five Asian Internet companies will join to build FASTER, a new 60 Tbps cable connecting the U.S. and Japan.
Posted at 9:58 AM, Aug 12, 2014

Tech giant Google wants to bring faster Internet to Asia ... again. The company's VP of infrastructure announced Google will once more be investing in an undersea cable connecting the U.S. to Japan.

In a Google Plus post, he announced the company would help fund FASTER, a cable with a record-setting capacity of 60 Tbps. "At Google we want our products to be fast and reliable, and that requires a great network infrastructure. ... FASTER will make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia."

Google will partner with five Asian companies on the project, which will be built by NEC and is expected to cost around $300 million.

The company is of course no stranger to trying to speed up its users' Internet connections. Not only is it trying to compete as an ISP at home with its Google Fiber service, it's also invested in two previous undersea cable projects across Asia and the Pacific.

​FASTER will have around 18 times the capacity of the company's last trans-Pacific cable project, which only went online in 2010. But the company says without new infrastructure projects, Web users would quickly run out of bandwidth.

GigaOM: "Simple example: Every Android device, if it's connected to the Internet, probably has an open TCP connection or two to Google. ... Right now, we probably have one, two billion."

In fact, a report from Cisco earlier this summer predicted that, with the rise of mobile devices and streaming video, global Internet usage could top a zettabyte — or a billion terabytes — by the end of 2016.

That's the year FASTER is expected to come online. So it looks like the slump in cable growth throughout the early 2000s is officially over, and this time, instead of wireless carriers like Sprint and AT&T, it's Internet giants like Google who will foot the bill.

This video contains an image from Ken Thomas.