Google and Facebook have announced the construction of a submarine cable giant that will connect Hong Kong to Los Angeles. This cable of 12,800 km will be one of the longest in the world and the first to directly connect two continents.
Both Web giants Facebook and Google on Wednesday announced their project to install a cable superfast submarine through the Pacific Ocean: the long cable of 12,800 kilometers, the construction will start late 2017, should be put into operation in summer 2018.
The American heavyweights have teamed up with Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC), an Internet service provider based in Hong Kong, and TE SubCom, a specialist in undersea communications technology based in the United States, which will ensure the construction of the cable and its installation at the bottom of the ocean. Google hopes to “build the first direct submarine cable system between Los Angeles and Hong Kong with an ultra-high capacity.”
“These underwater cables will help increase the total bandwidth available not just to the giants that build them, but for pretty much everyone else as well. And they improve the resilience of the global internet by increasing the number of routes that data can travel across the oceans. But more to the point, they also give Facebook and Google more control over the infrastructure they depend on,” Klint Finley from Wired.com reports.
This new cable system, named Pacific Light Cable Network (NCP), would organize the same time “nearly 80 million video conferencing in high definition and simultaneously between Hong Kong and Los Angeles,” according to Brian Quiqley, head network infrastructure at Google.
More than 300 underwater cables support 99% of international Internet traffic
This is not the first time that American technology giants combine to install a submarine cable. Facebook and Microsoft had thus announced in May 2016 that they would collaborate on another project of 6600 km under the Pacific Ocean , “Marea”.
Facebook said that like Marea, stakeholders who were working at the construction NCP could choose independently equipment and technologies used for the portion of the cable allocated for their services. According to Facebook, this construction model, which should be adopted for all future construction of undersea cables, would change the equipment over time if the available technologies improve.
Over 300 submarine cable supports almost all international Internet traffic. “For international calls, over 99% [traffic] goes through submarine cables” , says Alain Mauldin, director of research TeleGeography. “Satellites are useful for rural communities and very remote locations. The main advantage of cable is that it is much cheaper. ”
The longest submarine fiber optic cable currently in use, the SEA-ME-WE 3, measuring 40,000 km long, nearly the circumference of the Earth. It was commissioned in 1999 following a joint project linking 92 international operators, including France Telecom. This cable connects 33 countries on four continents (Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia) and has 39 landing points.
The submarine cable SEA-ME-WE 5 , the result of an agreement between Orange and a dozen other industry partners, will be commissioned in late 2016 along about 20,000 km, will connect Singapore and France, where it will connect to the telecommunications network in Marseille (Bouches du Rhône).