1942: Long sections of submarine cable being loaded into a barge for transport. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Here are the Submarine Cables Funded by Cloud Giants

As their global bandwidth needs grow, operators of hyper-scale cloud platforms — Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon — have started to play a much bigger role in consortia that build intercontinental submarine cables. In some cases, these cloud companies have been signing on as major customers of future cables, thereby enabling cable builders to finance the projects. In other cases — and we’re seeing more and more of this lately — these companies get involved directly, as the projects’ investors and owners.

Recent examples of the latter include Facebook and Google’s investment in construction of the Pacific Light Cable Network, which will link Los Angeles to Hong Kong, and Facebook and Microsoft’s investment in the MAREA cable, which will connect a landing station on the coast of Virginia to a landing station in Bilbao, Spain.

These investments by hyper-scale companies and by other cable builders looking to serve their bandwidth needs have spurred a submarine cable construction boom. One of the potential outcomes of the boom is more demand for data center space in facilities operated by the likes of Equinix or Digital Realty Trust, among others, which can provide network access to these new connectivity routes.

More on that here: Will the Submarine Cable Boom Drive More Revenue to Colos?

And here’s the list of submarine cable construction projects hyper-scale cloud companies have helped fund in recent years. Click on the maps to enlarge (all data and maps courtesy of the telecommunications market research firm Telegeography):

AEConnect (AEC)
Hyper-scale cloud user: Microsoft
RFS (ready for service): January 2016
Cable Length: 5,536 km
Owners: Aqua Comms
Landing Points:
-Killala, Ireland
-Shirley, New York, United States
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

MAREA
Hyper-scale cloud users: Facebook, Microsoft
RFS: Q1 2018
Cable Length: 6,600 km
Owners: Facebook, Microsoft, Telefonica
Landing Points:
-Bilbao, Spain
-Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

GTT Express (former Hibernia Express)
Hyper-scale cloud user: Microsoft
RFS: September 2015
Cable Length: 4,600 km
Owners: GTT
Landing Points:
-Brean, United Kingdom
-Cork, Ireland
-Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Monet
Hyper-scale cloud user: Google
RFS: Q3 2017
Cable Length: 10,556 km
Owners: Angola Cables, Google, Algar Telecom, Antel Uruguay
Landing Points:
-Boca Raton, Florida, United States
-Fortaleza, Brazil
-Santos, Brazil
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Tannat
Hyper-scale cloud user: Google
RFS: Q4 2017
Cable Length: 2,000 km
Owners: Google, Antel Uruguay
Landing Points:
-Maldonado, Uruguay
-Santos, Brazil
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Hawaiki Cable
Hyper-scale cloud user: Amazon Web Services
RFS: June 2018
Cable Length: 10,200 km
Owners: Hawaiki Cable Company
Landing Points:
-Kapolei, HI, United States
-Mangawhai, New Zealand
-Pacific City, OR, United States
-Pago Pago, American Samoa
-Sydney, Australia
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Unity/EAC-Pacific
Hyper-scale cloud user: Google
RFS: March 2010
Cable Length: 9,620 km
Owners: Telstra, Google, Global Transit, SingTel, KDDI, Airtel (Bharti)
Notes: Unity is jointly owned by a consortium of six companies. Telstra owns two fiber pairs that the company refers to as EAC-Pacific. The remaining three fiber pairs are jointly owned by the other consortium members.
Landing Points:
-Chikura, Japan
-Redondo Beach, California, United States
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

FASTER
Hyper-scale cloud user: Google
RFS: June 2016
Cable Length: 11,629 km
Owners: Google, KDDI, SingTel, China Telecom, China Mobile, Global Transit
Landing Points:
-Bandon, Oregon, United States
-Chikura, Japan
-Shima, Japan
-Tanshui, Taiwan
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable System
Hyper-scale cloud user: Microsoft
RFS: 2018
Cable Length: 13,618 km
Owners: China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT, China Mobile, Microsoft, Softbank Telecom
Landing Points:
-Chongming, China
-Lingang, China
-Maruyama, Japan
-Nanhui, China
-Pacific City, OR, United States
-Pusan, Korea, Rep.
-Toucheng, Taiwan
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC)
Hyper-scale cloud user: Google
RFS: June 2013
Cable Length: 8,900 km
Owners: Globe Telecom, Google, KDDI, Telkom Indonesia, SingTel, China Telecom, TOT, China Mobile, Chunghwa Telecom, Brunei International Gateway, SingTel Optus, Airtel (Bharti)
Landing Points:
-Chikura, Japan
-Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong
-Nasugbu, Philippines
-Shantou, China
-Songkhla, Thailand
-Telisai, Brunei
-Tuas, Singapore
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Asia Pacific Gateway (APG)
Hyper-scale cloud user: Facebook
RFS: November 2016
Cable Length: 10,400 km
Owners: NTT, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT, Starhub, LG Uplus, China Mobile, Viettel Corporation, Vietnam Telecom International, Global Transit, Facebook
Landing Points:
-Chongming, China
-Danang, Vietnam
-Kuantan, Malaysia
-Maruyama, Japan
-Nanhui, China
-Pusan, Korea, Rep.
-Shima, Japan
-Songkhla, Thailand
-Tanah Merah, Singapore
-Toucheng, Taiwan
-Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong
Source: www.telegeography.com

 

Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN)
Hyper-scale cloud users: Google, Facebook
RFS: May 2018
Cable Length: 12,800 km
Owners: Pacific Light Data Communication Co. Ltd., Google, Facebook
Landing Points:
-Manhattan Beach, California, United States
-Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong
Source: www.telegeography.com

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About the Author

San Francisco-based business and technology journalist. Editor in chief at Data Center Knowledge, covering the global data center industry.

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