Google is Constructing a Massive Fiber-Optic Undersea Cable to Link US to the UK and Spain

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On Tuesday, Google has announced that it plans to build a new U.S.-U.K. and Spanish undersea fiber-optic cable as part of its compliance efforts.

The cable-named after the American computer programming pioneer Grace Hopper-will be available “better resilience for the network that underpins Google’s consumer and enterprise products,” Google hinted.

“Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the U.S. and U.K. since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud,” said Bikash Koley, vice president of Google Global Network, in a blog post.

“It also marks our first investment in a private subsea cable route to the U.K., and our first-ever route to Spain,” Koley said. “The Spanish landing point will more tightly integrate the upcoming Google Cloud region in Madrid into our global infrastructure.”

The company based in Mountain View has added that the cable would include “novel optical fiber switching” that will allow it to move traffic around internet outages more competently than before. It will also have 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers), which is a “significant upgrade” to the internet infrastructure that connects the U.S. with Europe, Koley said.

The cable extends from New York to the seaside town of Bude, in the United Kingdom. And Spain’s Bilbao. This is about 6250 km from the United States to the United Kingdom. And from the United States to Spain 6,300km

At the beginning of 2012 , Google signed a deal with SubCom, a cable company headquartered in New Jersey, and the project is scheduled for completion in 2022. Google refused to say how much the company’s latest cable would cost.

98% of international Internet traffic worldwide is carried by Subsea cables. Such cables allow for exchanging, searching, sending and receiving information at the speed of light around the world.

Globally, shelter-in-place initiatives in the midst of the corona-virus pandemic have put increased burden on existing networks with rising demand for data-intensive services such as Netflix and Zoom.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on connectivity, highlighting how ingrained it is in our daily lives,” said Tom Meyer, a general manager and group vice president at technology analyst firm IDC Europe. “These challenging times have taught us that a stable and reliable network is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but business critical.”

“Naturally, investment into infrastructure is a major priority, particularly as connectivity becomes an ever-increasing necessity going forward,” said Meyer.

Google said honoring Hopper, who was an American, was “thrilled.” Rear Admiral and creator of the first parser for human language-computer code.

Cable for Facebook

Facebook revealed in May, that it was constructing an undersea cable across Africa to improve the continent’s internet connectivity.

The media firm has collaborated with the project providers, branded as 2Africa, such as China Mobile, the MTN in South Africa, the Orange in France and the Vodafone in Britain, as well as local network operators.

It is the responsibility of Alcatel Submarine Networks, a Nokia owned cable systems supplier, to construct the subsea cable. Facebook claims to have been “nearly equal to the circumference of the Earth.” 37,000 km — or approximately 22.991 miles — wide. This is also not clear to what degree Facebook and its partners are offering support for the project.


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