Most countries and continents rely on undersea cables for their high-speed internet connections – even Africa has a plethora of cables connecting the continent to Europe and North America. Without it, the internet in South Africa simply won’t run the way it does.

Recognising the undeniable importance of these undersea cables, Google and five other companies have come together to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific cable system – to the tune of $300 million.

To be called FASTER, it will connect the United States to two landing locations in Japan.

“This new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas,” the consortium of companies said in a statement.

In terms of the cable’s capabilities, it will make use of a 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technology, which will allow it carry up to 60Tb/s in capacity. The cable will address the growing demand for data between Asia and the US from broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange.

“FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world. These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications,” explained Woohyong Choi, the chairman of the FASTER executive committee, in a media statement.

While the cable won’t be coming anywhere near Africa, it will benefit worldwide internet connectivity (and Africa) as it frees up traffic on other cables.

[Source – NEC, image – ITU]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.