Published in Network

Google spends a billion dollars on new submarine cables

by on12 April 2024

Godzilla gets faster internet and more cat videos

Google has unveiled plans to invest $1 billion in two new submarine cables, Proa and Taihei, forging fresh digital pathways between the US and Japan.

Built by NEC, the Proa cable will connect Japan, touch the shores of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and reach Guam. Meanwhile, Google's work-in-progress TPU cable system, which is also an NEC creation, is set to stretch its digital tendrils to CNMI, linking Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam, and the US, with a service launch earmarked for May 2025.

Taihei promises a seamless digital conduit between Japan and Hawaii. At the same time, Google's Tabua cable, built by SubCom and slated for a 2026 debut, will now make a pit stop in Hawaii, enhancing its transpacific voyage from the US to Fiji and Australia.

Google is putting together an interlink cable to connect Hawaii, CNMI, and Guam, a strategic move that will bolster reliability and slash latency for users in the Pacific Islands and beyond.

The cable initiative snagged a spotlight following a pow-wow between Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and US President Joe Biden, who jointly pledged allegiance to a "free and open Indo-Pacific and world."

The joint statement by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and US President Joe Biden, praising Google's substantial investment, underscores the strategic importance of the North Pacific Connect. This extension of the Pacific Connect Initiative with NEC is a crucial step towards enhancing the digital communications backbone between the United States, Japan, and Pacific Island Nations, shaping the future of global digital communication.

The US-Japan alliance is keen on roping in partners to erect more secure and resilient networks. It has pledged a cool $16 million to lay down subsea cables for the Federated States of Micronesia and Tuvalu, fortifying digital ties across the Pacific.

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