Google Plans Trans-Pacific Fiber Cable

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Google’s reported bulk purchases of dark fiber have launched a million rumors about the company’s ambitions. Well, here’s another fiber-related Google story to add to the mix: Google is planning a multi-terabit undersea communications cable across the Pacific Ocean for launch in 2009, according to the Australian telecom journal CommsDay.

The cable – known in the industry as Unity – has been in the works since earlier this year, but it was not known which companies would be involved in the effort. CommsDay said Google is known to have discussed the project with Asia Netcom and Telstra. “Google would get access to a fibre pair at build cost handing it a tremendous cost advantage over rivals such as MSN and Yahoo, and also potentially enabling it to peer with Asia ISPs behind their international gateways – considerably improving the affordability of Internet services across Asia Pacific,” according to the CommsDay story.

Laying undersea cables is a specialty business in which carriers often partner to reduce the substantial cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure. See Wikipedia for additional background and TeleGeography for a big-picture map of submarine cable infrastructure.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.