Google, Others Launch High-Speed Trans-Pacific Cable

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A 9,000-kilometer (about 5,600 miles) high-speed, trans-Pacific submerged cable connecting the U.S. West Coast and Japan entered service Friday. Called the “FASTER Cable System,” the six-fiber pair cable delivers 60-terabits per second of bandwidth across the Pacific Ocean.

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Inc. and five partners in the FASTER consortium first announced the cable in August of 2014. Partners include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and Singtel. The cable itself was built entirely by Japan’s NEC corporation using the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology.

Hiromitsu Todokoro, chairman of the FASTER management committee said:

From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER,’ and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality. This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support.

NEC project manager Kenichi Yoneyama added:

We are honored that the consortium entrusted us to build FASTER. Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day. This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region.

The FASTER cable has two endpoints in Oregon and two in Japan. From there connections extend to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle in the United States and to major cities in Japan with the capability to reach beyond Japan to other cities in Asia.

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