West Coast of the United States to Japan. It has
the bandwidth to deliver 60 terabits per second
of data, making it the highest-capacity undersea
cable ever built.
“The most important challenge is the length
of the cable,” Claude Le Maguer, an engineer in
charge of the operation, told IDG News Service.
“It’s the first time that we will lay such a long dis-
tance at the same time.”
There are risks, of course: strong ocean currents,
fishing trawlers, ship anchors and even shark bites
can damage undersea cables. To protect the cables,
many project teams have begun burying them
beneath the ocean floor. Google even used a 32-ton
plow, hoisted into the sea by a crane, to clear the
sea floor and bury cables to guarantee access to
massive volumes of bandwidth for years to come.
The Internet allows users to communicate
across oceans in fractions of a second. A
global network of undersea cables carrying
99 percent of all transoceanic digital com-
munications makes this possible. As demand
for bandwidth grows, so do the number of cable
projects. In 2015, only three new sub-
sea networks were deployed. Between
2016 and 2018, 33 projects worth over
US$8.1 billion could be launched.
Traditionally, these projects were
paid for by telecommunications companies and mostly carried public Internet
traffic. But today, as tech giants devour
unprecedented bandwidth, these private companies are backing projects to
meet their needs.
Google, for instance, was one of the
key sponsors behind a new undersea
fiber-optic cable that went online in June. The
US$300 million project, a partnership with a con-
sortium of Asian telecommunications companies,
stretches 5,600 miles ( 9,012 kilometers) from the
Google’s undersea cable system
linking Japan and the U.S.
In 2015, only three new
subsea networks were
2016 and 2018,
worth over US$8.1
billion could be